US: North Carolina law allows marriage of underage girls

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US: North Carolina law allows marriage of underage girls

Judy Wiegand
Judy Wiegand

Known for its coastlines, mountains and the state that was “first in flight,” North Carolina has also developed a more dubious reputation recently: as a regional destination for adults who want to marry children.

State lawmakers are nearing passage of a bill that could dampen the state’s appeal as the go-to place to bring child brides — but would still leave it short of a national push to increase the age to 18. The proposed legislation would raise the minimum marriage age from 14 to 16 and limit the age difference between a 16-year-old and their spouse to four years.

“We will have moved the needle and made North Carolina no longer at the very bottom of the barrel of states,” said Drew Reisinger, the register of deeds in Buncombe County. But, he said, “we’re still going to be putting a lot of children in harm’s way.”

Reisinger said the county, which includes the popular tourist city of Asheville, is a destination for many adults and child brides…



Source: Vanguard Newspaper