Judge rules Arkansas children can marry

Oct. 11, 2007 at 10:11 AM
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Oct. 11 (UPI) -- An Arkansas judge has ruled that because of bad wording in a state law governing marriage, anyone with parental permission can get married.

Passed in March, state Act 441 was aimed at barring anyone under 18 from getting married with the exception of pregnant women with parental consent or a judge's order.

In July, when the wording problem was discovered, the state Code Revision Commission tried to correct the wording by removing the word "not" from two places where it appeared in front of the word "pregnant."

Wednesday, U.S. Circuit Judge Tom Keith ruled in Little Rock, Ark., the commission lacked the authority to make such legislative changes, the Arkansas Democrat reported.

The issue went before the courts in September when the mother of a 17-year-old girl who wanted to get married sued a county clerk because she was denied a marriage license, the report said.

Gov. Mike Beebe had said he has no plans to address the wording before next year's legislative session, the Arkansas News said.

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