State Senator Berta Gardner
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Senator Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) announced she has prefiled legislation to raise the minimum age to marry in Alaska to 18 or emancipated minors above the age of 16.
A child in Alaska currently can marry at 14 years old with the approval of a Judge. "It astonishes me that our state will allow a child this young to marry," said Sen. Gardner. "Early marriage forces a girl into adulthood and motherhood before she is physically and mentally mature. Even though Alaska does not have a high rate of child marriage, we need to start doing the right thing. These young children need to live out their childhood and focus on their education."
Between 2006 and 2015, there were four cases of child marriage where the child was under the age of 15 years old, according to Vital Records. Three of these cases had the child marrying someone in their late 20s. During the same period, Alaska also had 12 cases of divorces involving children less than 15 years of age, with 75% of these involving spouses older than 30. The oldest involved a spouse older than 55.
In the US, child marriage leads to many adverse effects. These include a divorce rate exceeding 70%, reduced education and employment opportunities, as well as mental and physical health problems. Texas, Virginia and New York have recently passed laws to increase the minimum age of marriage.
More from News of the North
Ban on smoking becomes law
Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) Governor Bill Walker signed a bill that bans smoking in the workplace, bars, restaurants and other public places.
Rep. Eastman fights ethics complaint
Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) Eastman was accused of disclosing to a reporter the existence of a complaint that was considered confidential
Candidate for congress doesn't live here
Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) Democratic Party leaders have questions about the candidacy of Carol Hafner who says she lives in South Dakota and New Jersey.
There are Many Aspects to Consider for an Electric Vehicle Ordinance
Juneau, AK (KINY) - The Juneau Commission on Sustainability held a public meeting in search of input on how the commission might address an ordinance proposed by the Planning Commission that asked for a $50 annual fee to use city chargers.
Prison riot results in convictions
Fairbanks, Alaska (KINY) Five inmates were convicted of riot and criminal mischief.
School of Education poised for Fall Semester start at UAS
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The University of Alaska Southeast achieves a significant milestone when it launches its Fall Semester as the home to the university system's School of Education.
Water flow continues to rise
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The CBJ Emergency Management Department is keeping a close eye on suicide basin for the build up of water around the Mendenhall Glacier.
Haines Assembly meets
Haines, Alaska (KINY) A new litter law, junk cars, and a deal with Alaska Marine Lines highlighted the Borough Assembly agenda.
Voter registration deadline this week
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The deadline to register for the August 21 primary is Sunday, July 22 at midnight.
Goldbelt holds elections
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Three incumbent board members were re-elected at the 44th annual meeting.
Murkowski disappointed in President
Washington, DC (KINY) Alaska US Senator Lisa Murkowski said she was stunned that President Donald Trump did not confront Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue of alleged interference in US elections.
Four Kayakers Rescued by Coast Guard, No Injuries
Juneau, AK (KINY) - The Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro helped rescue four kayakers in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve on Sunday.