TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida is one step closer to ending child marriages at any age.
A ban on child marriage cleared the Florida Senate on Wednesday with a unanimous vote, and now the state is one step closer to having the strictest child marriage laws in the country.
The legislation is the direct result of the efforts of one woman who was raped when she was 8-years-old, forced to marry her rapist when she was 11, then had six children before she could legally divorce at 18.
Sherry Johnson has spent the last six years trying to change Florida’s marriage law.
“She is the voice for this bill,” said Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Ft. Myers).
Johnson said her passion for her children drove her to help make the changes.
“To not want to them experience the negative things, the negative life I had to experience. And it’s not necessary. We should always look out for our children,” she said.
The way the legislation is currently written, there are no exceptions for anyone under 18-years-old to get married, but that is likely to change when the bill hits the full House.
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