Little Rock, Ark. (AP) Governor Mike Beebe has signed legislation repealing a poorly worded law that had the effect of letting anybody get married as long as they had the permission of a parent.
When the measure was approved last year, the intent was to set 17 as the minimum marriage age for boys and 16 for girls. The only exception would be girls who are pregnant and they would need permission. But the final version has an extraneous word, “not.”
It read: “in order for a person who is younger than eighteen (18) years of age and who is not pregnant to obtain a marriage license, the person must provide the county clerk with evidence of parental consent to the marriage.”
That would be anybody.
Governor Beebe rejected calls for a special session last year to make a fix. He said the chances of children getting married under the law were slim.