Social Issues


Raising the minimum age to marry?

Jan 15, 2018

Today, New Hampshire law allows boys as young as 14 and girls as young as 13 to enter into a marriage contract, with parental permission and approval from a court. Representative Jacalyn Cilley (D-Strafford) has introduced HB 1587 for the 2018 legislative session which—in addition to establishing procedures for the emancipation of minors—would raise the minimum age for heterosexual marriage to 16 for both girls and boys. Read more about this issue

Do you believe that the minimum age to marry in New Hampshire should be raised to sixteen?

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page January 9, 2018

269 citizens responded60 citizens were in favor of raising the marriage age to 16126 citizens were in favor of raising the marriage age to 18 or older34 citizens were opposed to raising the marriage age to 1649 citizens said other

What Participants Said

Higher: 126 people advocated for raising the minimum age to marry to 18 or higher.

  • “Raise it, yes. But to 18 not 16.”
  • “Raise the minimum age to 18 where the woman can legally make her own choice and not someone for her.”
  • “If 18 is the age of consent for voting, military, smoking, making ones' own decisions, then 18 should be the minimum age for marriage. There is no reasonable reason to get married younger.”

Yes: 60 people were in favor raising the minimum age to marry in New Hampshire to sixteen.

  • “Yes… I'm actually shocked that it isn't 16.”
  • “Yes, 13 is far too young to be married. No 13 year old has the mental capacity to realize what marriage really is.”
  • “No child brides, please!  Marriage is for adults, not children!”

No: 34 people were against raising the minimum age to marry in New Hampshire to sixteen.

  • “Is this necessary? Under 18 already requires parental consent, and review and approval by a judge... Which, I suspect, isn't something they hand out willy-nilly.”
  • “No. Government should stay out of family affairs when it comes to parentally sanctioned marriage.”
  • “No… How often are citizens under 18 getting married anyway? Why should we waste our (taxpayers) money spending time and resources on a bill that ultimately does nothing?”

Other: 49 people commented on related questions and issues instead. 
These included:

  • Marriage law in general: “Get government out of marriage entirely. What business is it of the state to decide who may or may not have a relationship?”
  • Conditions for marriage: “I'd prefer that they had to have a joint bank account for a year before marriage...”
  • Marriage statistics: “How many teens are getting married?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology

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Related Bill

HB 1587 (2018)
Bill Status: Signed by Governor
Hearing date: Apr 03, 2018

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