Marriage age needs to be higher

Rep. Cassandra Levesque has introduced a common sense bill to raise New Hampshire’s marriage age to 18, something any rational adult should be able to support.

Right now, girls who are 16 can marry under a relatively new law that raised the age from 13, which was absurd. But Levesque, who at 19 is the youngest member of the state House, thinks it needs to be higher, and we agree.

Here is what Levesque recently told Rachel Martin of New Hampshire Public Radio:

“The big problem is (girls) wound up in abusive situations, not having any money to their name. They are just stuck in this situation, and they don’t know how to get out.”

The theory is that at 18, a young woman would be a bit wiser, a bit more mature, a bit more worldly. That doesn’t mean, of course, that women of that age won’t end up in abusive relationships; lots of women far older than that do and it can happen to anyone. But the odds of it not happening are better if the woman is two years older.

We’re not sure how Levesque’s bill, known as HB378, will fare, although with Democrats in control of the House and Senate, we expect it to have an easier time. For some reason, Republican controlled Legislatures over the years felt it was perfectly reasonable for girls to marry at 13, which made no sense. We can only wonder how some of those legislators would have reacted had their daughters, at 13, announced their intentions to wed.

Rep. Levesque, of Strafford, might be new to public office but she saw an issue that was important to her, ran for and won her seat, and now she’s wasting no time pushing a piece of common sense legislation.

Let’s get behind her. One way she suggests is to send a letter or postcard to The New Hampshire State House, Attn: Child and Family Law Committee, 107 North Main St., Concord, NH 03301. With a letter or postcard, legislators won’t be overwhelmed as they can be with email and phone calls.

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