Vermont – End Child Marriage

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Hooray! Sixteen and 17 year olds may no longer marry in the state of Vermont.  As an active member of the Vermont Coalition to End Child Marriage, the Justice of the Peace Association partnered with allies to change the law and make 18 the minimum age to wed. We did it! 

Legislative Activity


This year Representative Carol Ode again introduced legislation, H148, to end child marriage in the state with a no-exceptions platform. The Vermont House of Representatives voted YES! Then the Senate did. On April 20, 2023, Governor Scott signed the he bill and Vermont became the eighth U.S. state to end all marriage before 18, without exceptions.

  • Governor Scott signed H148 on April 20, 2023, making the state of Vermont the 8th state to end child marriage!
  • On April 11, 2023, H148 passed the House and is on its way to Governor Scott for his signature.
  • On April 4, 2023, on the Senate floor, a unanimous vote in favor of H148.  JPus had submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the legislation.
  • JPus submitted a letter of support of H148 to the House Judiciary Committee, urging the end of child marriage in Vermont.
  • The livestream recording of the February 16, 2023 hearing before the Judiciary Committee.


Representative Carol Ode was the lead sponsor of the bill H.631 an Act to Ban Child Marriage. Vermont members joined JPus to ask their Representatives to co-sponsor and support the bill. Unfortunately the bill died before progressing out of Committee.

  • On January 28 2022, JPus submitted written testimony to for the House Committee on Judiciary.
  • In 2022, JPus members asked legislators to support H.631 an Act to Ban Child Marriage. Vermont residents were able to follow a link to submit a letter of support – easy-peasy. Our partner, Unchained at Last, sponsored the letter campaign.


As a professional membership association, JPus leads by offering training opportunities for marriage officiants.

  • On January 25, 2023, JPus co-hosted a workshop with Vermont partners about child marriage in the state. More information about the online course.
  • Our learning hub’s training  about child and forced marriage and human trafficking.

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