Georgia passes bill to end child marriage
May 8, 2019

McGuireWoods Consulting Georgia Government Relations Team Joins Tahirih Justice Center in Pro Bono Effort to End Child Marriage in the U.S.

On Monday, May 6, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed H.B. 228 into law, limiting marriage to adults age 18 or older, with a narrow exception only for 17-year-old minors that have been emancipated after a special proceeding before a juvenile court.

McGuireWoods Consulting senior vice president and director, Ashley Groome, along with vice president, Danica Key Thompson, worked with the Tahirih Justice Center to help advance the bill through Georgia’s legislative session.

Groome and Thompson worked pro bono to help navigate the bill through the 2019 legislative session, and their strategic guidance helped ensure the bill’s success.

“It was an honor to work with the Tahirih Justice Center on this legislation,” Groome said. “The law will help protect young girls and hopefully change the trajectory of their lives.”

Since Tahirih launched its national campaign to end child marriage in 2016, a total of 17 states (including Georgia) have been inspired to raise their minimum marriage age or put in place other safeguards.

“It is always an humbling experience working on public policy to promote and improve outcomes of health, safety and the wellbeing for young women and girls in Georgia,” Thompson said.  

In addition to limiting marriage to adults age 18 or older, the newly enacted Georgia law also contains other key measures to prevent abuse and exploitation in the guise of marriage, such as a 4-year limit on the age difference between a 17-year-old and an intended spouse.