New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has raised the age required to marry to 18 making New York now the sixth state to ban child marriage.
The vast majority of states in the United States allow for a minor (defined as anyone below 18) to get married, whether through their parents' or their own consent. New York has been making slight pushes against this since 2017, when it raised the age of consent for marriage from 14 to 18. However, the law still allowed those age 16 to get married if they had the approval of their parents. The new law will become active in August, 2021
"This administration fought hard to successfully end child marriage in New York and I'm proud to sign this legislation to strengthen our laws and further protect vulnerable children from exploitation." said Gov. Cuomo in a pre-written statement. "Children should be allowed to live their childhood and I thank the many legislators and advocates who worked diligently to advance this measure and further prevent forced marriages in this state."
Only Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania have clear restrictions requiring Americans to be 18 or older before being legally allowed to marry.
While child marriages have grown increasingly uncommon in modern times, trends have shown them to continue in select venues. Anti-child marriage advocacy group Unchained at Least estimates that 300,000 young girls ended up in early marriages between 2000 and 2018.