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In AR, You’re Never Too Young to Marry

Posted Aug 20, 2007 12:21 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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Arkansas lawmakers passed a law this year that inadvertently allows residents of any age—including toddlers—to marry so long as their parents agree.

The mistake may prompt the governor to call a special legislative session to fix the language, the Associated Press reports.

At issue is legislation 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, would allow anyone who is not pregnant to marry if the parents agree.

The Arkansas Code Revision Commission attempted to fix the mistake by removing the word "not," but its authority to make the change was challenged by lawmakers, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The paper quotes Gov. Mike Beebe as saying that a special legislative session is an option: “This is an inadvertent bill-drafting error that clearly must be corrected for the best interests of Arkansas children."

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