- Wyoming is one of eight states with no minimum age requirement for marriage.
- A new bill seeks to set the minimum age at 18, with exceptions for 16 and 17.
- Republicans in Wyoming sent an email on Thursday raising “concerns about constitutional rights.”
Republicans in Wyoming criticized a bill Thursday that seeks to implement a minimum age requirement for marriage as the new law passes through the state legislature.
invoice Backed by Republican Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, it raises the state’s legal age of marriage to 18. Exceptions are made for 16 year olds and her 17 year olds if consent is obtained from a parent or guardian.
Wyoming Republicans said in a mass email sent Thursday that the law raises “concerns about constitutional rights” and denies “a fundamental purpose of marriage” and “parental rights.” .
“Marriage is the only institution in Wyoming law designed to keep the father and mother of a child living under the same roof and cooperating in the upbringing of a child conceived together. rights,” the group wrote.
The email goes on to say that minors can have children before they turn 16, so marriage should be an option open “for those children.”
The Wyoming Republican Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In an email to an insider, Zwonitzer said, “There was some opposition to the bill last year, but no outright party animosity.”
Wyoming is one of eight U.S. states that do not have strict minimum age requirements. Other states include California, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Washington.
Current Wyoming law states that marriages involving minors under the age of 16 require court approval and parental or guardian consent.
According to State Deputy Registrar Guy Bauduin,, Wyoming has licensed an average of 4,200 marriages annually over the past 11 years. An average of about 20 marriages per year involved people under the age of 18. Beaudoin did not specify how many of these marriages involved someone under the age of 18.
An email from the Wyoming Republican Party also linked to the blog, Capitol Watch for Wyoming Familiesit encourages voters to email their state representatives and ask them to vote “no” on the bill.
The blog post said that states should legally protect minors who wish to marry, and that parents are “the front line in protecting minors regardless of whether they are mature enough to consent to marriage.” I argue that there should be
“With respect to a God-given minor, a state should consider the child’s best interests,” another argument reads.
The bill passed its third reading in the House on January 20, 36-25, with 25 Republicans voting against it. He is currently the only three Democrats in the House to vote for the bill.
Rep. Mike Ying, Democrat, murmured A copy of an email from the Wyoming Republican Party on Thursday accused the group of wanting their children to be “perfectly” married.
“Let me be clear, they are attacking a bill put forward by members of their own party,” Yin wrote.
— Mike Ying (@itsmikeyin) February 9, 2023
Zwonitzer previously co-sponsored a similar bill in 2018. The bill set the minimum age at 18 for him, with no exceptions. According to Casper StartribuneThe new bill adds language for 16- and 17-year-old exceptions.
“Former Sponsors [former Democrat congressman Charles Pelkey] Zwonitzer told an insider. “He was very invested. I couldn’t understand why the bill didn’t all work out. I’ll keep getting it back as it goes through Congress.”
Congressman told the Cowboy State Daily “It is daring for the Republican party to suggest that we should be allowed to marry as soon as we are able to have children.”
“We have 12- and 13-year-olds who get pregnant in this country, and in my opinion we certainly don’t want them to be able to get married,” he told local news outlets. .