Florida lawmaker: Law that OKs child marriage 'well-crafted'

AP News
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Posted: Feb 01, 2018 12:41 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Republican Florida lawmaker who opposes a bill to ban child marriage says the current law that allows child rapists to marry girls they impregnate is "well-crafted."

Rep. George Moraitis voted against a bill Thursday that would ban child marriages with the exception of some 16- and 17-year-olds when a pregnancy is involved.

He cited a legislative staff analysis that said between 2012 and 2016 only one 13-year-old was allowed to marry. He said he encourages pregnant "women" to get married.

The same staff analysis says that 33 children under 16 were allowed to marry during those five years. That includes someone over the age of 90 marrying a 16- or 17-year-old girl, and a 14-year-old who married a 15-year-old. In some cases, girls were allowed to marry men twice their age.