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Ark. Reinstates Minimum Marriage Age

Posted Apr 3, 2008 1:40 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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It took a bit of time, but Arkansas has reinstated its minimum marriage age after becoming the butt of jokes when it inadvertently enacted legislation that would allow even toddlers to marry.

The corrected legislation was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Mike Beebe, the Associated Press reports.

At issue was legislation passed last year that was meant to set 18 as the minimum age for marriage, but would allow pregnant teens to marry with parental consent. An extra "not" in the legislation, however, allowed anyone who is not pregnant to marry if the parents agree. The snafu created embarrassment for the state and confusion for court clerks.

Rep. Will Bond, the Democrat who sponsored the botched bill and its correction, took full responsibility for the blunder. But he noted that there hadn't been any reports of young children attempting to marry under the 2007 law.

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