New Hampshire’s minimum age requirements for marriage will stay just as is—at 13 years old for girls and 14 years old for boys. It’s not that people don’t care in the Granite State, it’s just that Republicans don’t. A bill was up in the New Hampshire House of Representatives this week that would have required that both people involved in a marriage be at least 18 years old. Seems reasonable. Not for New Hampshire Republicans, it wasn’t.
Though the bill had unanimous backing from the House child law committee, it was toppled after a last-minute push from a handful of Republican representatives.
They argued the age increase would block young soldiers from getting married and providing military benefits to their partners or children. Others said the change could lead to more single-parent households.
“If we pass this, we will ensure forever that every child born to a minor will be born out of wedlock,” said Republican Rep. David Bates, of Windham.
But refusing basic sexual education to young people and then lamenting teen pregnancy is just one of the many amazing twists and turns the Republican mind can do.
But Republican Jim Spillane of Deerfield – argued it would hurt young veterans and their families.
“They would not be able to get married before he deployed – they would not get benefits. And unfortunately if he was somehow injured or hurt when he was deployed that child would be left without a child and without benefits,” Spillane told lawmakers on the House floor.
I’m sure we could figure out a way in that truly awful scenario—where we are sending children, with children of their own, to war to fight for old rich chickenhawks—to find benefits for that hypothetical child-soldier’s little child? Republican David Bates also felt that this law is working just fine, so why do we need to fix it?
“We’re asking the legislature to repeal a law that’s been on the books for over a century, that’s been working without difficulty, on the basis of a request from a minor doing a Girl Scout project,” said Bates.
Here’s that “minor” Bates was referring to: 17-year-old Girl Scout Cassandra Levesque trying to make heads or tails of this decision.
“They’re just entering their teenage years, going into puberty, just discovering things about themselves. They’re not ready to discover marriage,” she said.
The bill didn’t make it out of the House, losing a postponement motion 179-168, and putting off any chance of its revival for two years. The good news is you can get married and have your Bat Mitzvah on the same day!