New Tennessee Bill Could Legalize Child Marriage
Jackson, TN. (WNBJ)-
Many Tennesseans have been shocked to hear a new proposed bill could legalize child marriage.
Bryan Williams (Madison County Resident) stated, “I think it’s sad that in the state of Tennessee, a conservative state that we would even consider something like that.” Many Tennesseans shared the same feelings as Madison County resident Bryan Williams when the “Marital Contract At Common Law Recording Act” was introduced to the Tennessee House of Representatives.
The proposed bill was introduced in January as house bill 0233, by Representative Tom Leatherwood. Its supporters and sponsors have argued that it creates a second path to marriage that abstains from the marriage license model currently in place and practices the concept of “common law” marriage. Kelsi Williams (Deputy Clerk) explained, “when a couple is together for an extended amount of time living in the same house in a committed monogamous relationship eventually, they will become recognized as husband and wife. However, the state of Tennessee does not recognize common law marriages.”
If implemented, the “Marital Contract at Common Law Recording Act” would create a new way for the state of Tennessee to legally recognize common law marriages, but the legal text currently contains no minimum age restrictions. Resident Bryan Williams feels this creates a loophole for some suspicious activity. Bryan Williams (Madison County Resident) told 39 news, “it’s just part of the agenda to corrupt our children. It’s another step towards legalizing pedophilia.”
In Tennessee no one under the age of 17 can legally marry, anyone aged 17 can only marry with the consent of a parent or legal guardian, and their spouse can be no more than 4 years older. This bill will be heard by the senate today.