June 4, 2017

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (060417)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

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  1. What are your children and grandchildren doing this summer?

    Most teens are busy this summer enjoying their childhood with sports and practicing emerging into young adulthood with summer jobs and personal projects. A young ladies’ Girl Scout project reminds us that not all children are allowed to be children; not allowed that normal gradually maturing process but rather thrust into Adulthood — despite their own protests — to save an Adult miscreant from felonious behavior and to save and protect the family image of parents who care so little about their own child as to marry her off so they can pretend she wasn’t raped.

    Can we spend a little less time on that same-old topic of abortion and spend a little, or a lot, of time talking about our already-born children so grossly mistreated by lax scrutiny of minor marriages? Where is Children’s Services: apparently not legally allowed to intervene. Where is the shaming of the parents: apparently we’re also too embarrassed to talk about this type of issue to raise its importance! Where is the calls to protest the reprehensible attitude of legislators who have not made the issue of safe children a priority of public debate? Shameful and sad that this issue has not (yet?) reached public attention and discussion — and not (yet?) caused changed.

    Where are the nuns advocating for childhood freedom from forced marriage? They are safe in their sisterhood of the nunnery. Where are the advocates who celebrated a county court clerk’s refusal to issue a marriage license to a gay couple? Apparently too busy worrying about adult gay couples; apparently it’s not important to also celebrate a county clerk’s refusal to issue a marriage license to a minor and her rapist, forcing at least a brief delay while they drove to a neighboring county.

    Comment by Cornfed — June 4, 2017 @ 11:48 am

  2. Links:

    11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida
    Nicholas Kristof MAY 26, 2017

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/opinion/sunday/it-was-forced-on-me-child-marriage-in-the-us.html?_r=0

    Note the complicit behavior of church officials, remininscent of the priest scandal cover-ups behavior, STILL CONTINUING TODAY the ‘protect our reputations’ behavior at the expense of innocent children:

    “It was forced on me,” she recalls. She had become pregnant, she says, and child welfare authorities were investigating — so her family and church officials decided the simplest way to avoid a messy criminal case was to organize a wedding.”

    How do I write a thank you to this unnamed “government clerk in Tampa, FLa” who refused to marry an 11-year-old…so the “wedding party” (would have to include not only the couple but also her parents and two additional complicit witnesses) went to nearby Pinellas County where the government clear went along with collusion in this offensive behavior, issuing the marriage license…and then a judge or priest or minister would have been the next step, at the same office or yet another drive to a new location, for yet another 3rd Authority Figure to impress on this young 11-year-old how selfish and non-supportive are the Adults in her young life: casting her off into the equivalent of a sex-slave existence.

    The graphic shows this is a NATIONWIDE issue, deserving of equal or greater importance than gay marriage and college sexual assaults and protection of unwanted unborns. Ohio has No Age Floor: zero, none, nada. No protection of minors from forced marriages. No requirement to demonstrate emancipated behavior, independent and mature thinking, of sound mind to make the marriage decision.

    https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2017/04/19/kristof2/c736f0ab8b18ab6192d87f3af1b800e596205406/KRISTOF2-600.png

    (Yeesh, so instead of divorce battles, simply find someone who list themselves as married to your child, and then he or she could live with you 100% to completely avoid the Custody debates. The Shared Parenting guidelines have informal ages when a child is considered old enough to assert with whom they would like to live for how much, and with a Guardian Ad Litem appointed to comment to a judge if and how much the child is expressing an independent thought instead of an emotionally pressured and/or physically fear-pressured compliance statement.)

    We can do better by our children. Parents do have rights, to raise their children without unjustified interference from County Children’s Services. Yet it should be illegal to escape your parental obligations to provide and protect your children by arbitrarily marrying off a minor without some showing that it is good-faith decision; not a selfish reputation-protecting decision; not a selfish avoid-what-to-do-about-the-pregnancy decision; not a selfish parents avoid becoming the provider of this new unborn child who someone will have to raise and provide care.

    Our already-born children deserve better protection by our marriage laws: (a) There should be a minimum age to marry, informed by the similar situation of Shared Parenting ability to decide. (b) Above the minimum age but while still below Age-18, there should be some type of verification steps for maturity and emancipation or such that verifies that proposed marriage is safe for both the living child and any potential babes that will legally result from the marriage.

    Early intervention at the marriage license step should be added to our Ohio Code. This can make young marriage safer, for the wedded minor and the as-yet-unborn children.

    Early intervention is not only morally imperative by each of us personally; it is also legally justifiable due to the costs to our County services and our State child welfare services. Early intervention at the marriage license step is cost effective for the state and society; avoiding the eventual County involvement is who/how will have custody of the children of these marriages. That involvement will, as a minimum, include the much more labor-and-time exhaustive Divorce process of Domestic Relations Court. That government involvement will likely also involve some level of labor-and-time by County Children’s Services. Due to being married so young and adversely effecting job skills and completion of a high school diploma, such marriages (that likely result in multiple children as it keeps the bride unwilling and unable to leave the marriage) involve State costs to support the Divorced mother-with-children and labor costs to attempt to collect those costs from the Divorced father. To avoid such taking of his income, the Father may fight for shared custody (or emotionally pressure the escaping Bride-Wife-Mother to give up custody of her children, so they’ll be taught to repeat the Father’s terrible controlling behaviors), with over-worked County services too easily taking the ‘monkey see-no-evil, lets ignore this one’ behavior to avoid involvement with an aggressive over-bearing Father and a compliant weak-as-a-witness escaping-Mother.

    There are multiple problems easily avoided by a simple new Law:
    – Minimum age to marry
    – Age 16-18, emancipation criteria or Children’s Services Report certifying the proposed marriage will be safe for the minor.

    Please support this Scout, and her very important efforts!

    A thank you to the unknown Tampa county clerk who stood for the principle of safe, unforced marriages.

    Comment by Cornfed — June 4, 2017 @ 12:22 pm

  3. Sad behavior of the New Hampshire legislator:

    https://www.romper.com/p/a-girl-scout-is-trying-to-end-child-marriage-in-her-state-but-gop-reps-voted-against-her-44771

    A Girl Scout Is Trying To End Child Marriage In Her State, But GOP Reps Voted Against Her

    By Jenn Rose3 months ago
    Share

    Apparently, the motto “Live free or die” doesn’t apply to child brides. When Cassandra Levesque, a New Hampshire Girl Scout, learned that child marriage is perfectly legal in her state, she worked to create legislation to change the legal age for marriage to 18. The current law allows for boys to marry at age 14, and girls at 13, provided they have permission from their parents and a judge. Last week, Levesque and her parents watched as state legislators debated, and ultimately rejected her bill. The representatives voted 179 to 168 to indefinitely postpone an actual vote on the bill, meaning it’s now “effectively killed for two years,” as Democratic Rep. Jackie Cilley, the bill’s sponsor, told the Concord Monitor.

    The vote fell largely on party lines,…”

    Well, the vote was only “largely” on party lines, so this abysmal behavior is bipartisan.

    ” every single U.S. state allows minors to marry. Most allow 16- or 17-year-olds to marry, and incredibly, Massachusetts allows boys as young as 14 and girls as young as 12 to marry with parental consent. …”

    At 16, teens are old enough to have a driver’s license. That is a reasonable minimum to be able to marry, YET with additional investigative protections to verify the marriage is not forced: for the County issuing the license to be expected to verify the marriage is SAFE for the CHILD MINOR OR MINORS. And if a pregnancy already is in progress, to verify the marriage will be SAFE and ABLE TO SUPPORT the to-be-born child. (Once married, the State probably cannot go after the parents’ income for the new babies cost of care. The proposed marriage means the Adult Father is already accepting the costs — without a paternity test — of the new baby, so any finding of Not Safe could then allow automatic childcare costs from the Father’s income in-line with current formulas for divorced parents allegation of childcare costs.)

    “According to the Pew Research Center, 57,800 U.S. children between ages 15 and 17 were married as of 2014, representing about 0.5 percent of all children in that age group. There’s no polling data for kids between 12 and 14, because apparently the Census Bureau didn’t realize how depraved some states’ laws are.”
    The Census bureaus has time, now in 2017, to plan for data collection to enable understanding the scope of child-marriage issue, and the number of children born of such marriages, the median length of such marriages, etc.

    In New Hampshire, the vote has occurred. Protecting children will apparently wait for 2 years: “The representatives voted 179 to 168 to indefinitely postpone an actual vote on the bill, meaning it’s now “effectively killed for two years,” as Democratic Rep. Jackie Cilley, the bill’s sponsor, told the Concord Monitor.”

    Here in Ohio, let’s not wait that long. While your kids are enjoying the booths at the Town festival or the County Fair, take the time to talk with the folks at the GOP and the DNC booths. Raise this issue: the need for a Minimal 16 or 17 Legal Age to marry, and a Safety Check procedure for any marriage above the minimum but with one or both either Less Than 18 or not yet graduated high school and under 19.

    Comment by Cornfed — June 4, 2017 @ 12:36 pm

  4. As we allow immigrants, refugees, and other cultures into our county, understanding the International perspective on child marriage raises its importance. Our Ohio laws need to address this issue.

    Reasons why child marriage happens”
    https://plan-international.org/because-i-am-a-girl/child-marriage?
    gclid=CN_hypy_pNQCFdcegQodJXcNEQ

    in this article

    https://plan-international.org/because-i-am-a-girl/child-marriage?gclid=CN_hypy_pNQCFdcegQodJXcNEQ

    #3 is particularly pathetic. The first article posted on this situation was about parents and a spouse forcing a minor into marriage to hide a rape from society. The ‘protect reputations’ reason is not listed here, but is a reason why Modern Western Societies go along as well with this despicable behavior. If you’ve ever done volunteer service with the local County Violence Prevention Center, the appalling willingness of people to ‘pretend there’s nothing wrong here’ is more common than you’d think. Again, it happened with the priest scandals, it still happens with religious family who think the APPEARANCE OF RESPECTFUL BEHAVIOR is more important than ACTUAL moral and respectful behavior. The willingness first of Parents than of Children’s Services and also of Government County Clerks — as well as neighbors, extended family, etc — to shrug and convince themselves to not get involved…it is sad, disappointing, and speaks poorly of our priorities.

    Comment by Cornfed — June 4, 2017 @ 12:46 pm

  5. In the interest of fair and balanced to New Hampshire, their current law is somewhat a model to follow except to raise the age from 13/14 to Age 16 with exceptions. The reason this change — to raise the age limit — was defeated was buried in a link then in a paragraph:

    http://www.concordmonitor.com/cap-beat-marriage-bill-goes-down-8606217

    Here are the 4 key paragraphs:

    Despite unanimous backing from the House Children and Family Law Committee, the bill failed by nine votes. Eighteen Democrats voted to kill it while 29 Republicans voted in favor of raising the marriage age.

    Some opponents said what sunk the bill was a committee amendment that raised the minimum marriage age to 18, no exceptions. The original bill would have still allowed 16- and 17-year-olds to wed, so long as they had parental consent and sign-off from a judge.

    “That would have been reasonable,” said Republican Rep. David Bates, who fought against the bill. “Ninety-six percent of these minors are getting married when they are 16 and 17 years old, which is perfectly reasonable under certain circumstances.

    Cilley argued the bill should have been tabled, instead of effectively killed for two years, so those concerns could have been addressed.”

    First, note this set of paragraphs shows the defeat was Bi-Partisan, a complete disconnect from the original headline to which this article is an embedded link.

    Second, the next paragraphs show that New Hampshire overall is very smart on minor marriages:
    – At least NH does have a minimum-age law. (Ohio apparently has no minimum).
    – At least NH does have the barest minimum criteria, parental consent and ALSO a judge sign-off (not just a clerk-issued license to be signed by the reputation-protecting family’s religious leader, minister or priest). A sign-off by Child-Protective-Services would be a better criteria, imho.

    It sounds like NH was close to an improved legal situation. Why the bi-partisan vote to effectively kill the issue for 2-years rather than table it for the tweaks to add exceptions…that would be a more insightful news story. Yet, NH’s overkill has inadvertently provided a societal service. The inaccurate headline falsely describing the bill’s failure as ‘largely GOP’ and ‘along party lines’ is another inadvertent service to society. This sad situation in NH as inadvertently raised its profiles, enabled a Bi-Partisan discussion of marriage laws (e.g. with diverse cultures now using those laws, such as legal refugee immigrants. But also e.g. the pre-existing ‘speak no evil’ behaviors that previously allowed priest misbehavior, still allow ‘pre-trial diversion’ to hide misbehavior such as the NFL player’s video last year in the hotel elevator). We don’t want to admit we have an underlying societal problem. Violent behavior is scary to deal with and easy to be tempted to ‘walk away’, let it be someone else to solve.

    Let’s not walk away. Let’s not let this issue fade, in NH for 2 years and in Ohio as not yet raised into the public dialogue or into proposed Legislation.

    By next summer, can we have a new Ohio Law to establish a Minimum Marriage Age with an exception for 17+ after a safety investigation report? By next summer, can we have provided Legal Protections for our minor children, so more can be assured a safe, healthier summer?

    Comment by Cornfed — June 4, 2017 @ 1:08 pm

  6. Excellent information and points.

    The time to get to this is now, b/c the growing number of non-assimilating immigrant populations where child marriage is okey-dokey will be harder to defeat as time goes on, and the PC crowd will go along with the “who are we to judge their culture?” arguments, even though that throws everything feminism is supposedly about out the window.

    Also, based on the info you presented, so much for the condescending jokes about Arkansas and its marriage ages.

    Comment by Tom — June 4, 2017 @ 2:50 pm

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