Friday, June 13, 2008

Age of Consent to Marry Laws

Over at the "Pilegesh" blogspot, they have compiled a list of marriage ages by state. As they do I point out you better get a lawyer to tell you it's OK before you plow ahead thinking it's OK. My limited research has indicated that "Age of Consent" laws are different. Namely, you may need to be 16 to marry, but can say yes to sex at 15 or 14. Practically speaking it is my understanding as always that the age of consent for sexual relations is moot if the partners are within a certain number of years of one another. Usually three. Some highlights of low ages:

  • Alaska: 18, 16 with parental consent.
  • Arizona: no statutory minimum, those under 18 must have parental consent, those under 16 must receive approval of a superior court judge and parental consent. (statute)
  • Georgia: 18 generally, 15 with parental consent, 16 without parental consent if pregnant.
  • Hawaii: 18, 15 with parental consent.
  • Mississippi: 21, 17 for males, 15 for females, with parental consent.
  • New Hampshire: 18 generally; 14 for males and 13 for females, in cases of "special cause" with parental consent and court permission.
  • North Carolina: 18 generally, 16 with parental consent, unlimited in case of pregnancy or birth of child with parental consent.
  • Texas: 18, 16 with parental consent. 14 with judicial consent or if person under 18 had previously married and divorced
  • Utah: 18 generally for first marriage, 16 with parental consent, 15 with court approval.
  • Washington: 18, 17 with parental consent. May be waived by superior court judge.(statute)
  • Wyoming: 18, 16 with parental consent.
First observation. If polygyny were legal, and a state had a low "age of consent for sexual relations," you could go to North Carolina and get married after you began to have sex and she got pregnant. The problem would be that unless you were legally single, and therefore the resulting relationship legally monogamous it couldn't be done. Thus the law provides for anyone to have sex with an underage person, and marry them. You could even go on a cruise and accomplish the "deed" as it were, out of country, or simply travel to Mexico. I am thinking you could even confess to an illegal act in Aruba and still get married in North Carolina.

Next observation. In states where there is "Judicial Consent" of any sort, is there also a policy of electing those judges for that jurisdiction? Washington I believe, is one of those states. If you owned a jurisdiction politically, could you not arrange then any marriage at any age? The law would be satisfied.

All of this is to make the case that states are not preventing sex with "children" and not preventing "children" from getting married and as long as it's legal in one place, it's essentially legal in another. I marry in Spokane or Durham, travel to Texas, no problem.

The state does not protect, once again, children from the possibility of sex. It only prevents an adult from having sex with several children concurrently. You can for instance have a 14 year old bride that you married in North Carolina that you knocked up while vacationing in Mexico or Utah. Allen Steed for instance, could have legally married Elissa Wall in that way. You can have at the same time a 18 year old mistress and a 40 year old one. Lest you think this is all too convoluted to be realistic, this is precisely why the FLDS lives in border towns.

The LEGALIZATION of Polygyny eliminates this problem since right now social pressure and law prevent Polygynists from doing what Monogamists can do, and from what children can do indiscriminately. The short answer is that our laws are discriminatory allowing one adult to have sex with a 14 year old without marrying her in some cases and another adult a year older, not to. You can be 20 in Utah and bed a 14 year old and have a problem, but 18, and still legally an adult, but not have a problem.

It is part of my proposal that such confusion be eliminated. Political action needs to be taken to make forms of marriage that monogamists engage in, and legal not marital relations that adults engage in, even with children, legal for the Polygynist. To do that Polygyny must be legal somewhere in this country. I will propose in my next post, what I am trying to do about that.

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