BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — People will need to be at least 16 years old to marry in Louisiana under a new law signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Louisiana had no minimum age for marrying, although people under 18 needed parental consent and under 16 needed judicial permission.
Lawmakers passed the hard-fought measure by Baton Rouge Democratic Sen. Yvonne Dorsey Colomb in their session’s final hour. Edwards signed it without fanfare.
Starting in August, people under 16 cannot get married, and anyone 16 or 17 can’t marry someone three years or more older. Sixteen and 17-year-olds will need permission from parents and a judge.
Supporters say a minimum age can protect teenagers from sexual predators. Opponents, largely conservative Republicans, argued they didn’t want to keep pregnant teenagers from marrying.
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