(Albany, NY) Legislation proposed by our office and Assemblymember Phil Ramos to end child marriage in New York State by raising the age of consent to be married to 18 (S.3086/A.3891) was signed into law today by Governor Andrew M. Como. Our office, alongside Assembly Member Phil Ramos and advocates at Unchained At Last, worked vigorously to put an end to abusive and forced child marriages across the state. As a result of this monumental law, children across the state of New York will be protected from this traumatizing experience. We thank and congratulate all the legislators and advocates who made this historic achievement possible.
Senator Julia Salazar said, "Regardless of maturity level, minors lack sufficient legal rights and autonomy that they need to protect if they enter a marriage contract before becoming adults. The vast majority of minors who enter a marriage are teenage girls, and getting married before adulthood often has devastating consequences for them. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill to finally prohibit child marriage without exceptions in New York, and commend the continued work of Unchained At Last in advocating to prohibit child marriage nationwide."
Assembly Member Phil Ramos said, "The cruel and callous practice of child marriage has traumatized too many children to count. Nalia's Law, which will raise the age of consent for marriage to 18 and prohibit marriage if either person is underage, is named after one brave survivor of forced child marriage who I was lucky enough to meet. With the passage of this crucial legislation, minors in New York will be further protected from this predatory practice, and we can prevent stories like Nalia's from repeating themselves."
Fraidy Reiss, Executive Director and Founder of Unchained At Last said "This is a historic day: We just ended a human rights abuse that destroys girls' lives. And this is deeply personal for me. I survived a forced marriage in Brooklyn and have been advocating since 2015 for a marriage age of 18, no exceptions, since marriage before that age can too easily be forced. Thanks to Sen. Salazar's and Asm. Ramos's relentless advocacy, no more children will be subjected to this human rights abuse in New York."
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