Stonier bill to end child marriage in WA signed by governor 

OLYMPIA—On Thursday Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1455, sponsored by Rep. Monica Stonier, (D-Vancouver), to end child marriage in Washington state. 

“Every year we pass legislation that focuses on making the world safer for our kids,” said Rep. Stonier. “This bill will protect young people from being forced into or entrapped in a marriage that could be dangerous or abusive.”  

Young girls are the most frequent victims of child marriage and can face pressure to marry an adult man to hide what would otherwise be considered a sex crime. 

Child marriage has also been a vehicle for child trafficking in the U.S. because federal criminal code exempts sex with a child between 12-15 from being considered a sex crime if it happens within a marriage. 

“Marriage should never be used as a weapon to coerce a child into sex,” Rep. Stonier said. “Changing the legal age for marriage to 18 gives young people greater autonomy over their futures and eliminates a harmful legal loophole” 

The bill passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support.