NJ governor vetoes child marriage ban, citing ‘culture & traditions’

RT – May 11, 2017

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill that would have outlawed underage marriage in the state, saying the lack of exceptions trampled on cultural and religious traditions of some communities in the state.

Christie prevented the enactment of state Bill A3091. Sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Morris County), the measure would have banned underage marriage without exceptions, a first for any US state. It was adopted by the Assembly in November 2016 and the New Jersey Senate in March.

“An exclusion without exceptions would violate the cultures and traditions of some communities in New Jersey based on religious traditions,” Christie said in his veto announcement on Thursday. “Judicial oversight would permit consideration of these factors in the 16- and 17-year-old timeframe.”

“All 50 states have established minimum ages for the issuance of marriage licenses, and all 50 states have statutory exceptions. New Jersey should not depart from that norm,” Christie added.