House Debates Legal Age to Marry in Idaho
The Idaho House is considering a bill called the Child Safety Bill that would establish the sixteen as the legal age of marriage in the Gem State.Currently, there is no minimum age to marry in Idaho. The proposed bill made its way out of committee recently by one vote. The bill was sponsored by Boise Democratic State Representative Melissa Wintrow.
She spoke about the importance of establishing a minimum age to marry in Idaho. “Unfortunately, the current law can shelter someone from being charged with rape or statutory rape by getting married.” She said, “We have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of children and prevent anyone from shielding themselves from illegal behavior due to a loophole in our law. No one under the age of 16 can consent to sex, which is why we established a floor of 16.”
The bill has the backing of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. The goal is to safeguard children from being sexually assaulted. In the past few years, the state has adjusted its laws concerning sexual consent and statutory rape.
Representative Wintrow shared what would be accomplished if the bill becomes law. “Basically, what this legislation does is provide another step of security for children in Idaho.” She said. “This will be the best way that we can ensure we are protecting children. We don’t want to have a situation where a young child is being taken advantage of."
We'll continue to monitor the progress of the bill and keep you updated once there's a vote.