ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
For week ended January 3, 1999 Posted 20 Jan 1999
Site Index Mormon Groups Local News Other Mormon Churches Internet People Business Sports Arts & Entertainment Politics Media Attention Service History & Scripture Finance & Legal Stake & Local CES/BYU/SVC Missions & Temples General Authorities Churchwide News Upcoming Events Home Site Index Archives



Mormon News By E-Mail!
About Mormon News by E-mail


List Rules

List Archives

About Mormon News

Reporting Bad Links

Finding Bad Links
Mormons and Marriage Age

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Marriage Age Target of Bills In Legislature
Salt Lake Tribune 3Jan99
By Judy Fahys: Salt Lake Tribune

In the upcoming session of the Utah legislature, legislators will consider two bills to raise the state's marriage age to 16. Currently Utah state law permits 14- and 15-year-olds to marry, with consent of their parents and a judge.

In response to the bill, the Salt Lake Tribune surveyed 465 adults and found that 58 percent of Utahns believe the minimum marriage age should be 18, while 14 percent think that the minimum age should be 19 or higher. Just 15 percent thought that the minimum age should be 16 and only five of those surveyed thought that the current law was OK.

The poll showed similar support regardless of the respondent's age, gender, income level, region or political affiliation. The only group that polled differently was members of the LDS Church. Only 67 percent of the members of the LDS Church in the poll said that the marriage age should be 18 or older.

Rep. Carl Saunders, R-Ogden, thought that the poll results were "encouraging," but noted that last year the Senate narrowly defeated his bill to raise the age. "Most people are aghast it's 14," says Sen. Scott Howell. "The comment we get all the time is, `That's absurd.'"

Only three states in the U.S. allow 14-year-olds to marry, and nearly 1,000 teenagers 14 to 17 married in 1996.

Howell claims that raising the age will help curb polygamous marriages, but Carmen Thompson, of Tapestry of Polygamy, doubts it will make a difference because most polygamous marraiges are performed in secret and are not considered legal. In a recent trip to southern Utah, Thompson says she learned of a marriage involving 8-year-olds.

Representative Bill Wright disagrees with the bills, however. He says that he knows good marriages that started as young as 15 and he thinks that teens who want to take responsibility for pregnancy should be permitted to marry.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information