On July 28, 2022, Governor Baker signed the state budget that included a clause banning child marriage!
Shockingly, until July 2022, there was no minimum age to marry in the state of Massachusetts. The Justice of the Peace Association worked actively to change the law. With our partners we made 18 the minimum age to marry in the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts is the 7th state in the country to ban child marriage.
FY 2023 House Budget
In May 2022, H.1709 was filed as a budget amendment to the House Budget. Of course, JPus voiced support by signing onto the Commonwealth’s Coalition letter. Ultimately, it was adopted and the budget’s final passage was debated in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget House-Senate Conference Committee. It passed on July 18, 2022! On July 28, 2022, Governor Baker signed the budget so the loophole in Massachusetts closed!
2021 – 2022 Legislative Session
Senator Chandler and Rep. Khan re-filed bills to end child marriage in Massachusetts: H1709 and S937. Of course, JPus submitted testimony in support of the legislation at the November 16, 2021 hearing before the Joint Committee of the Judiciary. The bill passed the House unanimously. Fortunately, the response to this bill has been overwhelmingly positive with strong bipartisan support. Eventually, H.1709 was filed as a budget amendment to the House Budget by House Minority Leader Bradley Jones and ultimately adopted.
2019 – 2020 Legislative Session
JPus proudly signed on as a supporter of Massachusetts’ S2294 (formerly HB1478/S24), An Act to End Child Marriage. These bills were introduced in parallel by Representative Kay Khan and Senator Harriette L. Chandler. Either would have banned all marriages of anyone younger than 18 years – no exceptions.
On March 26, 2019 there was a hearing on the senate bill before the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. It passed out of committee on July 18, 2019 and the full Senate voted unanimously in favor on July 25, 2019. Despite this, the House didn’t pass the bill.
In 2019, H.1478, Rep. Khan’s legislation was placed into a study order. Meaning, it died in the Judiciary Committee.
In 2017 Representative Khan submitted a bill (H2310) to end child marriage. The bill didn’t pass, even though there were 15 cosponsors and a hearing scheduled.
The Justice of the Peace Association has submitted testimony at every stage of the legislative sessions to support efforts to end child marriage in the Commonwealth.
- JPus signed onto a Massachusetts Coalition letter to the FY23 Budget Committee
- On November 16, 2021, in support of H1709 and S937 to the Joint Judiciary Committee
- On March 23, 2019 in support of S24 to the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities
- Before the full Senate, on July 21, 2019, supporting S24.
- On November 20, 2019 now renamed S2294 to the full House
- JPus was honored to attend Governor Baker’s ceremonial bill signing
- See email from MA Representative Kay Khan thanking the state Coalition members
- Take JPus’ training for marriage officiants about child and forced marriage.
- Read about JPus’ efforts to end child marriage in all of the states we serve.
- JPus managing member’s LinkedIn article and interview about child marriage
- Learn about JPus members’ vote to join the Coalition to End Child Marriage.
- Our partners in the fight against child marriage, Unchained at Last and Tahirih Justice Center.