JERUSALEM, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Israeli lawmakers passed a bill raising the legal age of marriage from age 17 to 18, despite objections from ultra-orthodox lawmakers.
The Knesset voted 55-11 Monday to adopt the measure.
Some ultra-orthodox lawmakers accused the Knesset of discrimination, The Jerusalem Post reported. In the ultra-orthodox community, arranged marriages are customary, some involving minors less than 17.
Other lawmakers said the bill would prevent forced marriages for those too young to make such decisions.
In some European countries such as Austria, Bulgaria, Germany and Czechoslovakia the minimum marriage age is 16 but requires parental or court agreement, Ynetnews.com said.
In the United States the marriage age varies from state to state, with parental consent required in most cases for those 16 and younger. In Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran males are permitted to marry at 18 and women at 16. In Syria the law allows girls as young as 13 to marry.