A new Bill making its way through the House of Lords wants to raise the age of consent for marriage and civil partnerships from 16 to 18.
The Bill, which had its first reading two days ago (25th May, 2016), also seeks to make it an offence for a person under the age of eighteen to be caused to enter into a marriage or civil partnership.
The age of consent in this context is defined as the age at which a person’s consent to getting married or entering into a civil partnership, is valid in law. At the moment, only same sex couples can enter into a civil partnership.
The Bill appears to focus in part on forced marriage and child marriage concerns, as it requests that S.121 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (offence of forced marriage: England and Wales) be amended to include civil partnerships.
But perhaps it’s not just about child marriage.
Civil Partnerships are not typically associated with forced marriage, and are more commonly used to gain immigration advantages so that the parties can stay in the UK.
The Bill also seeks to remove parental consent completely where the two parties looking to enter into a civil partnership are under 18. Under the proposed Bill anyone under the age of 18 would no longer be able to enter a civil partnership even with the consent of their parents, which could imply that the Bill is an attempt at stemming an influx of immigrants into the UK.
However, another way of looking at these proposals could be that the Bill may just be an effort at updating the law and making it egalitarian, by providing same sex couples who wish to enter into civil partnerships the protections currently offered for other types of unions, and to prevent children from being used for fraudulent immigration purposes, perhaps.
What do you think? Is this Bill without compassion for those desperately trying to escape violence in their own countries, or a legitimate mechanism to bring the law up to date and protect vulnerable children?
Does raising the age at which a person can get married or enter a civil partnership from 16 to 18 offer a form of protection for vulnerable young men and women, or is this kind of measure ineffective in preventing child marriage? (See our article on Spain and its efforts at raising the minimum age of marriage with a view to preventing forced marriage).
The Bill itself has been proposed by Baroness Jenny Tonge, best known for her critical views on the Israeli government, although she has a strong interest in child marriage and its eradication world wide, having helped to produce a report in 2012 on the subject.
Whatever its true intent, it is a Private Members Bill and such Bills, especially those originating from the House of Lords rarely become law, so there may be little to discuss in the long run.
If you’re interested in the evolution of marriage, this short and very helpful summary from Parliament’s website gives you the lowdown. For anyone interested in an in-depth look, we highly recommend Cretney’s Family Law in The Twentieth Century: A History.
You can follow this Bill’s journey by subscribing here.
The marriage license is the document that few realise its purpose- the license bearer has the right to have “legal “sex.
So at 18, one begs for permission to have legal sex?
Then comes the marriage contract- with 3 parties involved- and few realise the 3rd party will never default and hence why couples have to beg the court corporation for permission to diveoce.
Not exactly true freedom is it?
All linked to old patriarchal religions designed to keep the wombmen- breeders as possessions of the system and using men to do the animal husbandry.
It has nothing to do with love and its a 5000 year old scam that has worked well.
Before that there was the 2 parties and the doughnut stone and no men in frocks or black robes – indicating death cult.
This new legislation will do nothing to protect children- it is a good pretence and maybe we ought to look at the words of MEIN KAMPF
“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation”.
Given that marriage is a contract between consenting adults. What is an adult? When does the adolescent become an adult? Judging by the photograph, choice had little to do with these children; more to do with the convenience of parents and family relations I suspect.
Marriage is ‘a bit of a do’; the charade where family and guests indulge in too much eating and drinking. But the licence, that bit of paper, makes it a permanent bond that can prove to be a contract linking two people, or a chain that shackles them, depending on the reason for obtaining it in the first place.
Marriages of convenience are as old as time. Some may be good, others bad and most resulted in amicable plodding but in today’s marriage market, I suspect money to be a great incentive. It’s not beyond the skill and ingenuity of those concerned with the ambiguities of ethics to elicit the truth about any ‘suspect’ unions but I suspect the powers-that-be would claim insufficient resources.
Our modern society is now paying a heavy price for liberalism and an open-door policy where promiscuity is the norm and an anything-goes-laissez-faire attitude to all former guidelines/barriers operates. We can’t have it all ways. Sodom and Gomorrah here we come.
Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..
Amber Hartman (@AmberJHartman) said:
Baroness Tonge has given me permission to post this comment regarding the article: “Amber, This picture is on the cover of my group’s paper, ‘A Childhood Lost” published November 2012. I would like feed back. We have lots of support from women and groups dealing with forced and child marriage and if it ever got through parliament it would bring us in to line with the rest of Europe.”
Forced Adoption said:
Politically correct folk often tell parents “your children are not your property” ;Well I reckon they are parent’s property and NOT the State’s ! After all cruelty or neglect of children is a criminal offence and should be punished even more severely when children are in the “care” of the State !
As for the age of consent and marriage being a sort of permission to have sex;Social workers are rumoured to be pressing for a law FORBIDDING sex with anyone OVER 15 as that seems to be the rule in the “special schools “they use for “special children” which is good news for Pakistani taxi drivers in Rochdale and elsewhere !