HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A bill that would ban marriage for anyone under the age of 18 in Connecticut received unanimous Senate approval on Friday.
House Bill 6569 would ban anyone under 18 from getting married – and there would be no exceptions.
People gathered at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford on Friday to protest child marriage.
A survivor of childhood marriage, who only wanted to be known as Jenn B., shared her story with News 8.
“I was sixteen years old standing with a 44-year-old man. No one cared,” she said.
Jenn B. said she was forced to marry her father’s friend and described what happened when she tried to go back to high school to get her diploma.
“They asked my husband to sign as my legal guardian I couldn’t enroll myself in school,” she said.
Members of the non-profit Unchained at Last wore wedding dresses to the Connecticut State Capitol to rally against child marriages.
Under current law, 16 and 17-year-olds in Connecticut can only get married with probate court approval.
“Individuals might want to get each other’s health insurance benefits if they’re having a child together. So those are the concerns I have with that bill,” said State Representative Vincent Candelora of North Branford who voted no against the amendments.
He says the state addressed this issue years ago and says safeguards are in place.
“We won’t see a situation where parents can force an arranged marriage because you would have to go through the court system to allow that,” State Rep. Vincent Candelora (R- District 86) said.
The House passed the bill by a 98-45 vote on May 3.
House Bill 6569 is now headed to Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk for final approval.