ending child marriage
Our planned Perpetual Chain-In in NYC is going to turn into a celebration, because Gov. Andrew Cuomo just signed S3086 — championed by Sen. Julia Salazar and Asm. Phil Ramos — to end child marriage in New York. !!!
When the bill goes into effect in 30 days, New York will become the sixth U.S. state to end all marriage before 18, no exceptions. That means we have “only” 44 states to go in our national movement to end child marriage in the U.S.
Our Fraidy Reiss, who survived a forced marriage in Brooklyn, had pledged Tuesday to Chain-In outside Gov. Cuomo’s Manhattan office every Wednesday starting August 4 — in bridal gown and chains — until he signed the bill. Sen. Salazar and many of our allies had promised to join for the inaugural Chain-In on August 4.
But then Gov. Cuomo signed the bill today! Our new plan: We will gather August 4 as planned, but we will turn it into a celebration instead of a protest. REGISTER HERE. We have canceled the scheduled Chain-Ins on subsequent Wednesdays.
The current law in New York allows 17-year-olds to be entered into marriage by a judge, even though marriage creates a nightmarish legal trap for minors, given their limited legal rights. Further, marriage at 17 is a human rights abuse that destroys American girls’ health, education, economic opportunities and quality of life.
An estimated 4,890 children were subjected to this human rights abuse in New York between 2000 and 2018. Almost all were girls wed to adult men.
We have been pushing to end child marriage in New York since 2015. Along with our allies in the New York Coalition to End Child Marriage, we met with or called every state legislator multiple times. We submitted memos of support. We Chained-In in Manhattan and Albany to demand an end to child marriage. We compiled in-depth legal research conducted on a pro bono basis by the law firms White & Case, DLA Piper and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. We wrote op-ed articles and appeared on television, radio and even in films. We partnered with Lush, whose generosity made all this work possible. You joined us too, if you tweeted at or emailed Gov. Cuomo or legislators to urge them to action, or if you shared our posts on social media or supported us financially.
Our allies in the New York Coalition to End Child marriage include: AHA Foundation, American Atheists, CHILD USA, Equality Now, Footsteps, Four Freedoms, Freedom United, Human Rights Watch, ICNY, J Strategies, LifeWay Network, Lynn’s Warriors, MALA, NASW-NYC, NJCW NY, National Consumers League, NYSCADV, NOW-NYC, Prevent Child Abuse NY, Reid McNally & Savage, Safe Horizon, Sanctuary for Families, Secular Coalition for NY, Students Against Child Marriage, UNICEF USA, Women 4 Women, Worker Justice Center of NY, ZA’AKAH and Zonta.