Proposed Child Marriage Ban In NJ Nixed By Governor Christie

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has conditionally vetoed a measure that would have created the first in the country ban on marriage for anyone under the age of 18.

Christie, in his veto message to the legislature, said he prefers to set the ban at age 16, with judicial approval needed for anyone seeking to wed before they reach 18.

Unchained At Last, a North Jersey group that seeks to un-do child marriages, worked on the bill Christie shot down.

“For Governor Christie to come in and say, ‘Nope. You know what? I don’t want to end human rights abuse’ even though it has strong support and even though there is no logical reason to continue this abuse’ is absolutely shameful,” Executive Director Fraidy Reiss told KYW Newsradio.

The Governor also believes there should be religious and cultural exceptions in the law.

“Which religion is he talking about?” Reiss wondered. “Has he joined some crazy cult since we last saw him? What is he talking about? Which religion requires child marriage?”

She points to evidence she says proves that most child marriages are forced, end in divorce, and cause permanent emotional damage.

Reiss is hopeful that legislators will attempt to override the Christie veto, although that has not happened in both houses on any measure the Governor has rejected.

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