It does make you wonder what their motivation is blocking the legislation. If there is a good reason, in that the new legislation could have unforeseen consequences, then, maybe, they were right, but.....on the surface, insanity.
I often think that fundamentalist Christians and Muslims have much more in common than they like to admit. This is a classic example - marrying off very young girls.
I knew an American friend who's parents had him when they were both 14. I think it was OK for them to marry (I don't know when they got married, but they were married), but must look out for rape. Pregnant 10 year old?
But it is statutory rape if the girl is underage and he isn't. Many use the marriage to mitigate the rape.
The legal age for marriage here is 16, with or without the consent of the parents. The child will be born out of wedlock if the girl is raped because she was under sixteen. The law is explicit that the legal age for sex and/or marriage is 16. Where I work children (under 16) are not charged if they have sex and both are 15 or less but as soon as one of them gets to sixteen, it is rape of the minor child if they have sex and sixteen year old boys I have taught have been charged with rape even when there is no baby. In the eyes of the law an under 16 year old lacks capacity to give consent to an adult.
In history, marriage was accepted as young as puberty. Children as young as five were expected to to work in the mines. Childhood, as such, is really
a modern invention. One, I'm happy to support BTW. It's not so much the legislation that is the problem but the hypocrisy in saying that you can
commit statutory rape if the child is under a certain age, but it's ok to get her pregnant and marry.
I'm not convinced that a 13 yo should be precluded from marriage, however if that were to be allowed, then they should also be given other responsibilities, too. Therein lies the rub, Would you like a 13 yo driving your taxi?
Personally, I'd be happy if alcohol, gun ownership, driving, and marriage along with numerous other "adult" activities (e.g. sex) should be banned until you are at least 25. Says I who had 3 kids before my 25th birthday.