A 10-year-old is old enough to decide to permanently mutilate his body with chemicals and surgery that make him into a parody of the opposite sex (without parental consent), but a 16-year-old is too young to decide to get married, even with parental consent.
The government has committed to raising the minimum legal age of marriage to 18 in England and Wales in a victory for campaigners.
Currently, 16 and 17-year-olds can marry with parental consent, but a coalition of charities has warned that this legal loophole is being exploited to coerce young people into child marriage.
In a letter to campaigners from the Ministry of Justice, shared with the Guardian, it said it was committed to raising the minimum legal age to 18 “as soon as legislative opportunity arises”.
The news came as Sajid Javid, the former chancellor, told the Times he would introduce a private member’s bill next week making it illegal for under-18s to marry.
Last month, the four co-chairs of the coalition Girls Not Brides UK wrote a letter to the prime minister warning that the current law on forced marriage law did not go far enough to protect young people.
The Conservative MP Pauline Latham has recently held meetings with ministers, including the justice secretary, Robert Buckland, to discuss the issue, including a proposal for a new criminal offence for adults who aid, abet or procure marriages for children.
On Thursday, a justice minister, Lord Wolfson, wrote to the Iranian and Kurdish women’s rights charity IKWRO; Karma Nirvana, which campaigns against forced marriage; Forward, an African women-led organisation working to end gender violence; and the Independent Yemen Group; saying: “The government supports raising the legal age for marriage in England and Wales to protect vulnerable children living here.
“[It is] committed to making sure children and young people are both protected and supported as they grow and develop in order to maximise their potential life chances. This includes having the opportunity to remain in education or training until they reach the age of 18.
“Child marriage and having children too early in life can deprive them of these important life chances.”
The letter said the department would consult with the Home Office on whether a new criminal offence was needed or whether the existing law on forced marriage could be amended.
Natasha Rattu, director of Karma Nirvana, which has protected girls as young as 11 from child marriage, said: “We are delighted that after relentless campaigning the government has listened to our joint calls to end child marriage by committing to raising the legal age to 18.
“But while this is a huge step in the right direction, it remains imperative the government also makes child marriage a crime.
“This would ensure maximum safeguards against all forms of child marriage and sends out the strongest possible message that child marriage is not accepted or tolerated by our government.”
Diana Nammi, founder of IKWRO, which has been campaigning to ban child marriage for more than a decade, said the loophole allowing children to marry with parental consent – introduced before the second world war to protect families’ reputations and land – left youngsters vulnerable to parental coercion.
What about tranny injections parental coercion?
Mothers are taking their toddlers to be parentally coerced into becoming homosexuals.
At the same time they whine about “child marriage,” they make sure teenage girls have as much sex as possible.
They know that the more sex a girl has before marriage, the less chance she has of her marriage succeeding.
They are not protecting teenagers from sex. They are protecting teenagers from building happy marriages and successful families.
Why would anyone want to do that to a society?
Who are these people?