New Hampshire – End Child Marriage

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Background

Even though New Hampshire’s minimum age to wed was 13 (girls) and 14 (boys), 2017 efforts to raise the age were unsuccessful. In 2018, the New Hampshire legislature voted to increase the state’s minimum age to wed to 16. That law went into effect on January 1, 2019. Efforts continue to eliminate marriage for all minor children under the age of 18.

The push behind the 2018 bill was Cassandra Levesque. She was a high school graduating senior and girl scout, pursuing her passion. The experience is what led her to run for office, and she is now a state Representative. JPus is proud to call Cassandra “Cassie” Levesque our friend. (See photo of NH State Representative Cassie Levesque and JPus Managing Member Loretta Jay.)

Legislative Activity

2021 Legislative Session

JPus submitted written testimony in support of HB60 in February 2021. This bill, submitted by Representative Cassandra Levesque, would end all child marriages in the state of New Hampshire. JPus is in support of this marriage as it creates a no-exception rule.

2020 Legislative Session

In 2020, on behalf of the state’s JPs, JPus submitted written testimony in support of HB1516 to end child marriage in the state. Efforts to allow an exception for emancipated minors were successfully blocked before the bill crossed over from the House to Senate on March 26. The bill eventually died in the Senate.

2019 Legislative Session

In January, 2019 newly elected state Representative Cassandra Levesque sponsored HB378. It would increase the minimum age to marry in New Hampshire to 18 – no exceptions. With the support of our NH members, on January 17, 2019 JPus submitted a letter in support of the bill. Unfortunately, the bill was tabled after amendments were attached to it.

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