CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Minors will still be allowed to get married in New Hampshire, after a bill to raise the minimum marriage age to 18 failed.
The House on Thursday rejected the measure, with Republicans arguing it would hurt young military members and pregnant teenagers. GOP Rep. David Bates says raising the age would make it impossible for 17 year olds who join the military to marry before they deploy resulting in more children being born out of wedlock.
Backers of the bill say minors shouldn’t be able to marry if they can’t drink alcohol, buy a car or sign a contract on their own.
Existing law allows girls to get married at 13 and boys at 14 if they have court and parental approval.