US New York is sixth state to ban child marriage
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this week raising the age of consent to be married in the state to 18, banning all minors.
"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," Cuomoafter signing the legislation
"Children should be allowed to live their childhood," he said.
Cuomo signed legislation in 2017, but 17-year-olds could be married with “parental and judicial consent."
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Democratic state Sen. Julia Salazar, whothanked Cuomo for signing the bill into law “to finally prohibit child marriage without exceptions.”
"Regardless of maturity level, minors lack sufficient legal rights and autonomy that they need to protect them if they enter a marriage contract before becoming adults. The vast majority of minors who enter a marriage are teenage girls, and getting married before adulthood often has devastating consequences for them,” she said in a statement Thursday.
The legislation will take effect 30 days after becoming law. It would level a fine and a misdemeanor charge against those who issued marriage licenses to individuals under 18.
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New York is the sixth state in the country to ban marriages involving a minor.
Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee signed legislation last monthDelaware, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania all ban minors from marrying.
Nearly 300,000 individuals under 18 were legally married in the USA from 2000 to 2018, according to a study from Unchained at Last,, that Salazar cited Thursday.
Nearly all of the minors in the study were 16 or 17, though some were as young as 10. Most of the children were married to adult men an average of four years older.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
First same-sex couple marries in Montenegro one year after legalization .
Two women married in the Montenegrin coastal resort of Budva on Sunday, a year after same-sex marriage was legalized, making them the first wedded gay couple in the small Balkan country's history.Milijana Vukotic Jelusic, a municipal official, announced the historical moment to the Montenegrin daily newspaper Vijesti, saying, "We are glad that our municipality was able to be the first to apply the Law on Life Partnership, and we wish happiness and a lot of love to the partners in their life together," according to Balkan Insight.