Christie won’t fully ban teen marriage out of respect for religion
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie is asking lawmakers to change a bill that would have prevented teens under 18 from getting married.
The Republican said Thursday in a conditional veto of the bill passed in March that lawmakers should change it to require a judge to approve a marriage license for a 16- or 17-year-old. He would also prohibit a marriage license for anyone under 16.
Under current state law, 16- and 17-year-olds only need parental consent. Children under the age of 16 also need a state judge's approval.
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Supporters say the measure is needed to protect girls from being forced into arranged marriages.
Christie says the ban is not necessary to address those concerns and that it could also violate cultures and traditions of some religious communities.
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