Tuesday, August 22, 2006
"The legislature voided certain underage marriages in Texas because of reports "that a polygamist cult in Texas had some parents regularly consenting to marriage of their [fourteen-] and [fifteen-]year-old children." In response, the stated purpose of H.B. 3006 was "to help protect Texas communities and Texas women and children" by regulation of "those activities associated with the practice of bigamy and polygamy." To prevent cult members from perverting Texas marriage laws, the legislature, among other changes, raised the minimum marriage age to sixteen, meaning parents may no longer consent to the marriage of children fifteen years old or younger. The question raised by these legislative changes, which were enacted to prevent an abrogation of the marriage relationship, is whether they are compatible with the public policy favoring marriage in Texas and the constitutionally-protected rights of young Texans and their parents." Rosanne Piatt, Overcorrecting the Purported Problem of Taking Child Brides in Polygamist Marriages: The Texas Legislature Unconstitutionally Voids All Marriages by Texans Younder Than Sixteen and Criminalizes Parental Consent, 37 St. Mary's L. J. 753 (2006).
Link to Article on Westlaw (last visited 6-21-06 NVS)