The days of 'Robbing the cradle' are coming to a close here in Connecticut.

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As of July 1, 2023, Connecticut will join our neighboring states of New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, by prohibiting anyone under the age of 18 from receiving a marriage license.

The State of Connecticut has announced that Lt. Governor Susan Bysewicz, serving in her capacity as acting Governor, signed into law Public Act 23-44 - An Act Concerning The Minimum Age To Be Eligible To Marry. According to the press release, the legislation was being sought by advocates in an effort to prevent children into being forced into marriage.

Connecticut's current state law, enacted in 2017, allowed probate judge's the power to issue marriage licenses to 16 & 17-year-old children, with the written consent of a parent or guardian. Surprisingly, prior to 2017, Connecticut did not have an age requirement for marriage. According to the announcement, there were 1,251 child marriages in Connecticut between 2000 and 2021. Since the current law was enacted in 2017, which raised the minimum age to 16, there have only been 33 child marriages. With this legislation, Connecticut becomes the 9th state in the US prohibiting child marriage.

I remember a classmate of mine at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury in the mid-80's, he was a second-generation Italian-American that came from an arranged-marriage. Thankfully his parents had adapted to the times, but they would still threaten to marry him off to a stranger if he misbehaved. We made light of the situation, but he sometimes felt the threat was very real. Good move Connecticut, it's not a joke anymore.

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