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Final bill to prevent child marriage, protect sexual assault survivors signed into law

UPDATE 9/27/23 9:10 a.m.

Gov. Whitmer signed the last bill in a package of legislation meant to protect minors from underage marriage in Michigan.

House Bill 4302 modifies various parts of the Michigan Penal Code to delete any reference to a spouse under age 16, bringing the Code in line with legislation banning child marriage in Michigan.


7/11/23 4:05 p.m.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation on Tuesday to protect minors in Michigan by preventing child marriage.

The bills raise the minimum age to marry to 18 and prevents parents and guardians from consenting to a minor’s marriage.

The goal of the bill is to protect sexual assault survivors who are married to their abuser.


Senate Bill 56: removes a provision that prohibits a man and woman who are not married to each other from living together.

Senate Bill 209: prohibits people under 18 from getting married and it voids any marriage entered into by an individual under 18 years of age.

Senate Bill 212: removes the ability of a guardian to consent to a minor’s marriage.

Senate Bill 213: removes a provision specifying that a minor is emancipated upon marriage.


Senate Bill 216: amends the Safe Families for Children Act by prohibiting a parent from authorizing to consent to the marriage of a child who was under 18 years old.

House Bill 4299: prohibits the use of a marriage license as proof of emancipation.

House Bill 4300: allows parents and guardians to apply for annulment of an underage marriage, even if the couwould prohibit the use of a marriage license as proof of emancipation.ple consented to the marriage after turning 18.

House Bill 4202: removes a provision that prevented a person from being convicted of criminal sexual conduct solely because their legal spouse is mentally incapacitated.


“This a huge victory for children in Michigan, especially girls,” said Fraidy Reiss, founder and executive director of Unchained At Last, the survivor-led nonprofit that leads the national movement to end forced and child marriage. “Finally, we have ended a human rights abuse and nightmarish legal trap that destroys almost every aspect of girls’ lives.”

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