Connecticut – End Child Marriage

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JPus’ Loretta Jay with Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and State Representative Sarah Keitt

The Justice of the Peace Association is strongly opposed to any marriage that involves minor children. The association’s membership is also opposed, stating that they would not perform such ceremonies. Connecticut is poised to ban child marriage in the state. We await the Governor’s signature on the bill that passed both the House and Senate.

Legislative Activity


State Representative Jillian Gilchrest introduced HB 6569, An Act Concerning the Minimum Age to Be Able to Marry, with bipartisan co-sponsors. JPus’ managing member Loretta Jay testified at the hearing before the Judiciary Committee on February 27, 2023.

  • JPus submitted written testimony to the Joint Committee on Judiciary
  • See JPus managing member testify to the Judiciary Committee on February 27, 2023. It passed “Joint Favorable” with a 31 to 6 vote out of committee.
  • On May 3, 2023, the bill passed the House 98 to 45. Watch the debate on the House floor at 8:28:23. (Trigger warning: some verbiage by opponents of the bill is infuriating – and untrue.)
  • Following a threat to add an amendment that would have allowed pregnant teens to marry, and a subsequent robust email campaign and chain-in, the Senate passed the bill unanimously on June 2, 2023!
TIPS meeting talking about child marriage
Collaboration with TIPS to end child marriage

JPus worked actively with state officials, legislators and other stakeholders to bring a bill forward during the 2022 legislative session. Since it was a “short session,” we experienced many challenges – just to get a bill introduced! Despite many supporters, we couldn’t overcome the hurdles.  This, despite the leadership of Representatives Jillian Gilchrest and Kerry Wood. However, we made some important connections with stakeholders. Eventually, this will help progress legislation next year:

  • Task Force on Justice for Abused Children
  • TIPS: Traffic in Persons Council
  • HART: Human Anti-trafficking Response Team

Representative Kerry Wood introduced HB5920 An act prohibiting a minor from entering into marriage in 2021. Unfortunately, it did not make it out of the Judiciary Committee.

Consequently, JPus is working with stakeholders to create a plan to successfully bring this bill for a vote in 2022.


Effective October 1, 2017, a parent and a Probate Court Judge’s approval is required for anyone aged 16 or 17 to wed. Also, 16 is now the minimum legal age to marry;  previously there was no minimum age. Connecticut’s law was watered down from its original effort to ban all marriages for individuals younger than 18 years.

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