THIS BILL DID NOT GET VOTED OUT OF COMMITTEE. WHY NOT? WE ARE ASKING THOSE QUESTIONS AND WILL LET YOU KNOW.
MEANTIME, REMEMBER THIS WHEN YOU ARE VOTING FOR STATE LEGISLATORS. ASK THEM TO COMMIT TO SUPPORTING THIS BILL NEXT YEAR. LEARN THEIR POSITION ON THIS BILL AND OTHER BILLS THAT IMPACT WOMEN. (stay tuned)
Do you know that in our state there is no minimum age to be married?
Do you know that that girls as young as 14 are being forced to marry much older men?
This essentially legalizes sex with a girl that would otherwise be considered illegal under Massachusetts statutory rape laws.
Furthermore, girls who marry as young teens are often trapped in abusive relationships, denied schooling, and are no longer eligible for any of the usual social safety nets provided for other children.
We have chance to stop this, but there’s not much time. The Act to End Child Marriage in MA (H2310/S785) is currently in the Judicial Committee and must be voted out of this committee before February 7, 2018. Your help is needed!
Not only should you ask your State Senator (Cyr 617-722-1570) and State Representative (Peake 617-722-2040) to write a letter supporting the movement of this bill, but please consider emailing members of the Judiciary Committee yourself urging them to vote before February 7.
We are all busy, but this is one of those issues that needs as many individual voices as we can muster. We need to let our legislators know we are paying attention to this issue.
Below is a sample letter and the email addresses of the Judicial Committee members. It is always better to write a personal note; if it helps copy/paste this letter and make any changes or use as is.
In light of the constant attacks on women’s rights coming from Washington, this could be one positive action for the advancement of women/girls in our state.
AFTER you’ve sent an email, please share your support for these bills on twitter, and include any of the members of the committee in your messages: #S785 #H2310. (Note – Twitter should not replace an email, but it is a good way to share your support.)
Thank you for giving your voice to this issue!
The Joint Committee on the Judiciary:
William Brownsberger firstname.lastname@example.org on twitter: @WBrownsberger
Sonia Chang-Diaz email@example.com on twitter: @SoniaChangDiaz
John Keenan firstname.lastname@example.org on twitter: @SenJohnFKeenan
Cynthia Creem Cynthia.email@example.com on twitter: @cindycreem
Patricia Jehlen firstname.lastname@example.org on twitter: @senjehlen
Richard Ross email@example.com on twitter: @SenRichardJRoss
Claire Cronin firstname.lastname@example.org
James Cantwell email@example.com on twitter: @repjimcantwell
Colleen Garry firstname.lastname@example.org on twitter: @RepColleenGarry
Carole Fiola email@example.com on twitter: @CaroleFiola
Daniel Hunt firstname.lastname@example.org on twitter: @RepDanHunt
Michael Day email@example.com on twitter: @mikeday4rep
Rady Mom firstname.lastname@example.org on twitter: @repradymom
Paul Tucker email@example.com on twitter: @PaulTuckerSalem
Bud Williams firstname.lastname@example.org on twitter: @BudLWilliams
Sheila Harrington email@example.com on twitter: @RepHarrington
James Lyons firstname.lastname@example.org on twitter: @RepJimLyons
Honorable Members of the Judiciary Committee,
The Act to End Child Marriage in Massachusetts has been assigned to the Judiciary Committee. I ask you to bring it to a vote quickly as possible to assure that it will be brought to the full legislature for this legislative session.
I fully endorse H2310/S785 An Act to End Child Marriage in Massachusetts and am deeply concerned that child marriage poses a wide array of problems both for young girls and the entire constellation of families surrounding them. Early marriage promotes lives fraught with difficulty in accessing educational opportunities, successful earning capacities and increases risks of domestic violence and poverty.
The Massachusetts Legislature has done important work to support protections under the federal Violence Against Women Act and the Massachusetts Domestic Violence Protections and now with this bill Representative Kay Kahn and Senator Harriette Chandler are working to expand the safety net for these young women/girls.
Thank you for your consideration.