Virginia becomes first Southern state to ban child marriage

AP Photo/Steve Helber

By Michael O'Connor

April 15, 2024

Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed legislation earlier this month that will make the marriage age 18 without exceptions.

Virginia became the first state in the South to ban child marriage.

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed this month House Bill 994 to make the legal marriage age 18.

There are just 11 other states in the US that have taken similar steps to end child marriages, according to the nonprofit Unchained At Last.

According to Unchained at Last, there were 7,876 minors as young as 12 who entered into marriage in Virginia from 2000 to 2021. More than 80% of those minors were girls.


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