Maine Wants To Finally Outlaw Child Marriages. Wait… Finally?!
Some things in life seem like a million years ago. Even in present day. At my age, if I think back over my life, in some ways I feel like I've never changed. At 47 years old, I often say I think and feel just like I did when I was younger. But then I think about how naive, if not downright stupid I was at 15, 16, or 17 years old. And sometimes still.
When I think back to relationships I had when I was young, they were always so intense. It always seemed like every girl I dated was "the one". And I everyone I know operated pretty much the same way. Everyone was so anxious to be all grown up and start playing house. Although, it does make chuckle how many folks that were dating in my high school at the time, are actually still married.
The sad part is, not all child marriages start out like this. Some are much more dark, and much more destructive. Sure, teens get each other pregnant all the time, and make the best of it usually, with help from their parents. But what if your parents are actually part of the problem, and not the solution?
There have been plenty of instances where young girls have been impregnated by older men, just to turn around and have their parents force them into marriage to avoid trouble with the law. It sounds impossible, but it's certainly happened, according to WABI - TV5.
A new bill going before legislature would lock in the marriage age in Maine at 18, regardless of parental consent. Right now in Maine, you do need to be 18 to marry, but a child's parents can override that law with written consent. Can you believe that crap? There are actually parents out there who think it's a good idea for their teens to marry?!
But it's true enough that the state is looking to make it official. I know there are tons of old, archaic laws on the books that make no sense, and kids marrying before 18 is one of them. I'm not saying it was even appropriate 100-150 years ago, but it was more common. these days, kids have enough to worry about, and don't need to grow up that fast.
Hopefully, this bill will see the fast track to the top of the pile. I don't have any kids of my own, but I know I'd sleep a lot better, knowing that kids aren't making terrible decisions with the help of their parents, or worse, being railroaded by them. Cross your fingers for a speedy journey through state legislature. I know I will.