Tennessee GOP pushes bill to eliminate age requirement for marriage

Tennessee Republicans have introduced a bill that would eliminate the age requirement for marriage in the state. The current minimum age to get married is 17.

Democrats opposed the bill, saying it will legalize child sex abuse.

The bill's sponsor Tom Leatherwood (R-Arlington) says "there is not an explicit age limit" written in the bill. In other words, Leatherwood's bill would allow a 50-year-old to marry a 10-year-old.

From WJHL News:

"It should not be there, as it's basically a get-out-of-jail-free card for people who are basically committing statutory rape — I mean it's completely ridiculous, so that's another reason why this terrible bill should be eliminated," Rep. Mike Stewart (D-Nashville) said.

The Sexual Assault Center of Middle Tennessee released the following statement to News 2:

"The Sexual Assault Center does not believe the age of consent for marriage should be any younger than it already is. It makes children more vulnerable to coercion and manipulation from predators, sexual and other."