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Legislation to Ban Child Marriage Head s to the Governor’s Desk

March 9th, 2018 by Jake Stofan

Legislation to put an end to child marriage in the state is headed to the Governor’s desk after being approved by the House Friday morning.

Forced to Marry at 11 to her rapist, Sherry Johnson has worked tirelessly  to put an end to child marriage… She watched from the House gallery as the chamber voted.

With only one no vote, Legislation to close Florida’s loopholes, which have allowed children of any age to marry got final approval from the State Legislature.

In front of the chamber doors Johnson was embraced by the bill’s sponsors.

“Thank you… Thank you,” she said to Representative Jeanette Nunez.

It’s the moment Johnson has been fighting for for six years.

 

“My goal was to protect our children and I feel that my mission has been accomplished. This is not about me. I survived,” said Johnson.

The Legislation prohibits marriage licenses to be issued to anyone under the age of 18.

The only exception in the legislation is that a 17-year-old can marry someone as old as 19, but only with parental consent.

Despite hoping for a strict age limit of 18, Johnson says she’s pleased with the final product.

 

“I’m happy… My heart is happy,” said Johnson.

Children married at a young age, particularly women have higher chances of falling victim to domestic violence and are more likely to live in poverty.

Johnson had this message for young women…

“Don’t allow anyone to actually force them into something that they are not comfortable or feel that they should not do,” said Johnson.

Johnson says she plans to continue her fight in other states, in hopes of putting a stop to child marriage nationwide.

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