‘Trib Talk’: How young is too young to get married in Utah?

Chris Detrick | (Tribune file photo) Representative Angela Romero (D-Salt Lake City) speaks outside the Utah State Capitol during the 5th annual SlutWalk Walk of No Shame Saturday September 24, 2016. The annual SlutWalk is a march against sexual assault, victim blaming, slut shaming, and rape culture- with millions of participants in thousands of cities around the globe.

In Utah, it is legal to marry at age 15 with the permission of a judge, or 16 with a parent’s consent. But one Utah lawmaker is trying to change that by raising the minimum marriage age to 18.

It’s a change that could be particularly felt by one of Utah’s polygamous groups, in which teenage girls often marry before reaching legal adulthood, due to pressure from their parents and religious leaders, or as a means of escaping their living situations and avoiding assignment into a plural marriage.

On this week’s “Trib Talk” podcast, state Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, and Tribune reporter Nate Carlisle join Benjamin Wood discuss the factors behind teenage marriages in Utah and the arguments for and against raising the legal age of marriage.

“Trib Talk” is produced by Sara Weber with additional editing by Dan Harrie. Comments and feedback can be sent to tribtalk@sltrib.com, or to @bjaminwood or @tribtalk on Twitter.

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