Judges still sign off on young girls getting married at ages younger than 18 — and sometimes even younger than the state’s age of consent — shockingly often across the US
One day this summer, in the sweltering heat of exurban Atlanta’s Deep South Side, south of Jonesboro but north of Macon where the white flight went, a 16-year-old girl will be kissed for the first time by her beau.
It won’t be in a parked car after seeing some new superhero blockbuster at the multiplex; no, she’ll be kissed as a bride, afterwards to begin her life as a housewife living in a guest house behind her parents’ home with her new husband. Her parents are not only totally OK with this, but they’re happily planning the reception and will be signing for her to get her marriage license along with a local judge. She’s already dropped out of school, I heard.
This is happening in my family. In 2019. In America.
I know I’m not the only one in the family who’s quietly having a cow. OK, maybe I’m not exactly being quiet about it, since I’m ranting to the world, but I did promise my mom I wouldn’t cuss out Destiny’s mom Lee Ann (names changed to protect the guilty). But I really don’t think that when her daddy, the Reverend Bubba, asks the standard line about objections to the union, that I’ll be able to hold my tongue if I attend the wedding. And I know that making a scene and ruining “her big day” won’t change a thing.