Governor Whitmer Enacts Legislation Protecting Minors’ Right to Consent in Marriage

In a historic move, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill, HB 4302, aimed at safeguarding the well-being of minors in Michigan by raising the minimum age of consent for marriage to 18. This action not only represents a continuation of Whitmer’s previous initiatives signed into law in early 2023, but also positions Michigan as a progressive leader, making it the tenth state in the United States to officially eliminate child marriage. Before the bill, the legal age to get married in Michigan was 16 with parental consent. The bill was first introduced on March 16, 2023, and passed on Sep. 26. 

The other nine states that have a ban on underage marriage with no exceptions are Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. 

“I am committed to keeping Michiganders – especially young women – safe and healthy, and today’s bipartisan bill fully implements Michigan’s ban on child marriage,” Whitmer said in a press release.