Wyoming lawmaker trying again to raise minimum marriage age

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A state lawmaker seeks to raise the minimum age for legal marriage in Wyoming.

Wyoming allows marriage at 16 but people even younger may wed with approval by a parent or guardian, and from a judge.

A bill banning child marriages failed 31-26 in the Wyoming House in 2019. Democratic Rep. Charles Pelkey, of Laramie, is sponsoring a new bill that would raise the limit to 18 in nearly every scenario.

Last year’s bill would have allowed no exceptions. Pekley’s bill would give juveniles fully emancipated in the court system the right to marry, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports.

The bill is part of an effort to eliminate child marriage nationwide, Pelkey said.

“You can’t buy dry ice in Wyoming unless you’re 18 years old but you can get married before the age of 18,” Pelkey said. “All I’m asking is that we put a barrier up.”

Critics of last year’s bill worried about taking away parental freedoms, a view Pelkey described as bizarre.

“The only way my bill would infringe on parental rights is if you regarded your children as property that you could negotiate away to somebody else,” Pelkey said. “The right to marry should solely involve the individuals who are getting married.”

Bills unrelated to the state budget will need a two-thirds vote to be introduced in the upcoming legislative session. The four-week session begins Feb. 10.

Recent Posts

WATCH: Police help get deer off roof

JACKSON, Wyo. — This one probably isn't in the training manual. The Jackson Police Department posted about a "deer on… Read More

56 mins ago

Saving an iconic herd of bighorn sheep on the brink of extinction

JACKSON, Wyo. — A public meeting last week discussing bighorn sheep will be followed up with another this Thursday as… Read More

3 hours ago

Time Continuum: Wyoming wants to make DST year-round

JACKSON, Wyo. — Wyoming is again trying to eliminate seasonal time changes in adopting a permanent Daylight Saving Time, but,… Read More

19 hours ago

TCSAR Winter Bash to feature raffle prizes, ski films and local beer

Come party in your loose boots in support of Teton County Search and Rescue! Winter Bash, sponsored by Roadhouse Brewing… Read More

20 hours ago

Police rescue 31 animals from trailer, motel room in Wyoming

By the Associated Press CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Police and animal control officers say they rescued 31 animals from a… Read More

20 hours ago

Lummis gets endorsement from Enzi and Barrasso

WYOMING — Both U.S. Senators from Wyoming, John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, endorsed Senate hopeful Cynthia Lummis today. Lummis is… Read More

21 hours ago