Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

Kansas Rethinking Marriage Law

Posted by Dan Draney on August 3, 2005

The national attention this week on the Falls City child bride and the arrest of her husband for statutory rape certainly didn’t help Nebraska’s reputation. We would have to say, however, that Kansas came off looking even worse for allowing the marriage in the first place. Apparently the Falls City fallout has stirred the Kansas legislature into revisiting the state’s absurd, obscene law that allows 12 yr old girls to marry. If so, some good may come of this sorry situation:

Lincoln Journal Star Online: “It’s a line not likely to land in the state’s promotional brochure: Come to Kansas, girls, where you can get hitched at age 12. Thanks to a Falls City love affair that has raised the ire of Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, however, the marriage age could land on that state’s legislative to-do list.

‘We probably ought to discuss it,’ said one Kansas lawmaker, Rep. John Faber. He represents five counties in northwest Kansas that border Nebraska. ‘Some laws just don’t make any sense.’

The one in question came to light last week when Bruning announced he filed a rape charge against a 22-year-old Falls City man who married his pregnant, 14-year-old girlfriend. They didn’t tie the knot in their home state, because the law wouldn’t allow it. The minimum marriage age in Nebraska, with parental consent, is 17.

Not so in Kansas, where the couple married in May. In the sunflower state, the bar is set at 12 years old, with parental consent; boys have to wait until they’re 14.”

“We probably ought to discuss it,” says Faber. We have to admire his gift for understatement.

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