Sunday, March 26, 2006

Gays can't marry, but kids should be allowed to:

Kansas lawmakers are happy to tell gays they can't marry, but when it comes to 14-year-olds wanting to wed, they say government should stay out of other people's business.

The Senate took up a bill last week that sets a minimum age for marriage at 16 with parental consent. The bill was prompted by a case in which a 21-year-old Nebraska man came to Kansas to marry a 13-year-old girl pregnant with his child. Kansas currently has no minimum marriage age.

Before the Senate approved the bill, Sen. Kay O'Connor, an Olathe Republican, pushed through an amendment to allow those under 16 to marry if a judge agrees it's in their best interest. O'Connor, a supporter of last year's ban on gay marriage, said she would rather not set any minimum.

"I believe parents should make that decision, not government," she said, adding that without the amendment, "Mary and Joseph would not have been able to get married in the state of Kansas, because Mary was 14."

I'll add that the minimum age-bill did pass, so O'Connor appears to be in the minority here.

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