Whitmer Ends Child Marriage with Bill Signing

Matthew Donnellon
Photo byCity of Detroit (Wikimedia Commons)

Earlier this Summer, Whitmer signed several bills in order to end child marriage in Michigan. 

One of the biggest moves earlier in the Summer was raising the marriage age to 18. Previously, 16-and 17-year olds could get married if they had permission from their parents or guardians.

The new bills Whitmer just signed will strengthen the laws against underage marriage. 

This includes:

  • Stopping secret child marriages
  • The minimum age of consent to marry is now 18
  • If someone was married as a child they will not lose spousal benefits

Whitmer detailed her response to the bill signing in a statement.

Keeping Michiganders safe and healthy is one of my top priorities, and today’s bipartisan bills will build on our efforts to protect young people—especially young women—from abuse,” said Governor Whitmer.

She continued, “As a county prosecutor, I went after those who used their power to prey on young people, and as governor, I am proud to sign legislation to strengthen protections for children and survivors into law. Together, we can make Michigan a safe, welcoming state where you can grow up and pursue your potential.”

The bill package includes House Bills 4295, 4296, 4302.

Rep. Alabaster Farhat, D- Dearborn sponsor of HB 4295 said, “Abusive adults take advantage of minor children, setting them up for a life of torment. It is our duty to protect the children of Michigan, and I’m grateful this legislation is being signed into law."

The bill packages also contained driver safety initiatives. The governor signed Senate Bills 134 and 135 which expands the use of ignition interlock devices. The program would allow people to get a device on their cari that measures alcohol concentration and allows them to get a restricted license. 

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI

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