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House passes bill raising marriage age in NC
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House passes bill raising marriage age in NC

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On Wednesday, the House voted unanimously to pass S35, a bill introduced by Sen. Vickie Sawyer (Iredell), Sen. Danny Britt (Robeson), and Sen. Valerie Foushee (Chatham). The bill aims to end child marriage by raising the minimum legal age for marriage in North Carolina to 16 years old.

North Carolina has previously been tied only with Alaska for having the lowest legal age for marriage in the country at just 14. “I’m truly ecstatic that this bill passed unanimously in the House today. This legislation is vital for the protection of our most vulnerable youth and will curtail North Carolina from becoming a destination child trafficking state. I’d like to thank my colleagues, Representative Kristin Baker and Representative Ashton Wheeler-Clemmons for handling the bill as it moved through the House. I’d also like to thank Senator Foushee and Senator Britt for working so diligently to sponsor and pass this legislation in the Senate,” said Sawyer.

Specifically, S35 accomplishes the following:

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Eliminates 14-and 15-year olds from marrying with no exceptions

Raises the legal marriage age in North Carolina up from age 14 to age 16 with parental consent or judicial authorization

Allows for minors aged 16 and 17 to marry an individual no more than 4-years older with parental consent or judicial authorization.

The bill will come back to the Senate for a concurrence vote before being sent to the governor for signature.

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The following is a list of those booked at the Iredell County Detention Center on felony and driving while impaired charges from Sept. 2-8. Listed information, including addresses, has been gathered from reports publicly available at local law enforcement agencies. All individuals listed are innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

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