Wyoming House kills 'child marriage restriction' bill - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Wyoming House kills ‘child marriage restriction’ bill

Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Under current Wyoming law, people can get married or enter civil unions if they are at least 16 years of age.

That will continue to be the case after the Wyoming House of Representatives killed a “child marriage restriction” bill  during their Wednesday, Feb. 12 floor session. The House voted 31-28 to have the bill introduced and sent to committee for further consideration.

While a majority of representatives voted to move the bill forward, a two-thirds majority must vote to introduce bills during budget sessions.

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The bill would have raised the minimum age for marriage to 18. Both parties entering into marriages or unions would need to be 18.

The proposal would also have modified the powers of parents and guardians when it comes to consenting to marriages or civil unions involving their children.

Under current law, people can get married under the age of 16 if a guardian provides written consent and a Wyoming judge approves.

The proposed bill would have required that a minor has been legally emancipated under either Wyoming law or the law of another state in order to get married or enter a civil union under the age of 18. In Wyoming, people must be 17 years old to be legally emancipated.

The proposed bill would have authorized emancipation for the purpose of “entering into a civil contract of marriage.”

If the bill were to have become law, it would not have effected marriages or civil contracts that people have already entered into.

The bill was sponsored by Representatives Pelkey, Blake, Clifford, Connolly and Zwonitzer and Senators Anselmi-Dalton and Nethercott.