Rep. Bonnie Huy explains why she doesn't think Kansas needs to raise the minimum age for marriage.">

Marriage Bill Passes House With One Dissenting Vote

By: KAKE News
By: KAKE News

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Marriage Bill Passes House With One Dissenting Vote

February 15 - State lawmakers are taking steps to set to modify the minimum age for Kansas residents to get married. All but one member voted in favor of the bill.

Right now, Kansas law allows people as young as 12-years-old to get married with a parent or judge's consent. The House has given approval on a bill that would change the minimum age to 16 with parental approval and 18 without it.

The bill passed 121-1. Representative Bonnie Huy of Wichita cast the one dissenting vote. Huy says there have only been 34 underage marriages since 1999 in Kansas. She says she doesn't want to limit Kansans facing the most important decision of their young lives.

Huy says she doesn't embrace underage marriage, but believes changing the law infringes on parents rights to raise children. She calls the bill a knee jerk reaction to an isolated incident.

Just last year, a 23-year-old Nebraska man, Matthew Koso, brought his pregnant 14-year-old girlfriend to Kansas to get married. The couple was married, but Koso has since been sentenced to prison for sexual assault.

It could still be several weeks before the bill makes it to the Senate floor. It is expected to pass.

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