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Missouri Senate committee passes bill setting restrictions on child marriages

Missouri Senate committee passes bill setting restrictions on child marriages

A Senate committee in Missouri approved a bill that would impose new restrictions on child marriages in the state.

The Senate Committee on Seniors, Families and Children passed the bill, which will now go before the full Missouri Senate, the Kansas City Star reported.

Under the bill, children under the age of 15 would be barred from marriage. Anyone age 21 or older would also be prohibited from marrying a child who was 15 or 16.

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The bill would also require that a judge and a parent sign off on the marriages of 15- and 16-year-olds.

The Missouri House approved the bill last year by a vote of 95-50.

State Rep. Jean Evans (R) — who sponsored the bill — said she is hopeful the Senate will "recognize the need for this important legislation and pass it."

The bill comes as legislators in several states are looking to set a minimum age for obtaining a marriage license. 

Thousands of children are married in the U.S. every year, most of them girls wedding older men.