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New York Becomes the Sixth State to Ban Child Marriage Under 18, No Exceptions.

July 23, 2021

On July 22, 2021, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill that prohibits any marriage under 18 without exception.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.3086/A.3891) raising the age of consent to be married in New York State to 18. This new measure builds upon legislation eliminating child marriage that the Governor signed in 2017 by removing the ability for 17-year-olds to be married with parental and judicial consent.

"This administration fought hard to end child marriage in New York successfully, and I'm proud to sign this legislation to strengthen our laws and further protect vulnerable children from exploitation," Governor Cuomo said. "Children should be allowed to live their childhood, and I thank the many legislators and advocates who worked diligently to advance this measure and further prevent forced marriages in this state."

This legislation takes effect 30 days after becoming law and will apply to licenses issued after that date and marriages that had not been solemnized prior to that date.

Senator Julia Salazar said, "Regardless of maturity level, minors lack sufficient legal rights and autonomy that they need to protect them if they enter a marriage contract before becoming adults. The vast majority of minors who enter marriage are teenage girls and getting married before adulthood often has devastating consequences for them. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill to finally prohibit child marriage without exceptions in New York and commend the continued work of Unchained At Last in advocating to prohibit child marriage nationwide."

This legislation will make New York the sixth state to ban child marriage under 18, no exceptions in the United States. New York joins Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Rhode Island in passing legislation to end marriage under the age of eighteen, no exceptions.

In 2017 the Governor signed a bill raising the age of marriage from fourteen to seventeen with consent. Ultimately, that did not protect children from forced marriages. Until the age of eighteen, they could not access the legal protection necessary to advocate for themselves. Often the parents giving the consent were handing them over to their rapist and abuser.

Congratulations to Unchained At Last, one of Global Hope 365 partners in the fight to end Child Marriage, for their persistence and hard work supporting the passage of this bill in New York State.

Global Hope 365, The California Coalition to End Child Marriage, and our partners are working tirelessly city by city in California and advocating across the county to change the law.

Join our letter-writing campaign. We made it very simple to participate. Go to our website and click on the Advocacy page. We have a digital letter-writing campaign set up for California and the rest of the county. Get your family and friends involved.

Act today. Together we can make a difference and end this abuse of our children. Take a stand to end Child Marriage.

To learn more about Global Hope 365’s work to end Child Marriage visit

Global Hope 365 site Global Hope

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