(This cartoon is by Dooa Eladl and was found at counterpunch.org.)
It's not uncommon to see cartoons and articles on social media condemning the fact that other nations (especially muslim nations) allow child marriages. But that is more than a little disingenuous, since most states in this country also allow child marriages.
Just a few days ago, politicians in Kentucky blocked a law that would ban marriages of children under 17. And Kentucky is far from the only state that refuses to ban child marriages.
The truth is that over 200,000 children were legally married in the U.S. in the last 15 years -- and that is probably an undercount, since not all states reported those marriages.
The following is part of an article on this by Chris Baynes in The Independent
More than 200,000 children were Married in the US over the past 15 years, new figures have revealed. Three 10-year-old girls and an 11-year-old boy were among the youngest to wed, under legal loopholes which allow minors to marry in certain circumstances. The minimum age for Marriage across most of the US is 18, but every state has exemptions – such as parental consent or pregnancy – which allow younger children to tie the knot. . . .
At least 207,468 minors married in the US between 2000 and 2015, according to data compiled by Unchained At Last, a group campaigning to abolish child marriage, and investigative documentary series Frontline.
The true figure is likely to be much higher because 10 states provided no or incomplete statistics. . . .
Eight-seven per cent of the minors who married across the country between 2000 and 2015 were girls, with the majority either 16 or 17.
The youngest wedded were three 10-year-old girls in Tennessee who married men aged 24, 25 and 31 in 2001. The youngest groom was an 11-year-old who married a 27-year-old woman in the same state in 2006.
Children as young as 12 were Granted Marriage Licences in Alaska, Louisiana and South Carolina, while 11 other states allowed 13-year-olds to wed.
More than 1,000 children aged 14 or under were granted marriage licences. . . .
Child brides usually come from poor backgrounds, said Dr Nicholas Syrett, author of American Child Bride.
He added: "Almost all the evidence indicates that girls in cities don’t get married young, that girls from middle class or wealthy families, don’t get married young. This is a rural phenomenon and it is a phenomenon of poverty."