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Alabama marriage laws

  1. May 23, 2005 #1

    Math Is Hard

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    I can't believe I look stuff like this up. I was reading another thread about age of consent laws that piqued my curiosity.

    Apparently it is still legal for 14-year-old ,first cousins to marry in Alabama.

    Under 18 does require parental consent, though. I grew up in Alabama and I remember the old law allowed a girl to marry at 13 with parental consent, but I guess someone decided that was just a little bit too young.
     
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  3. May 23, 2005 #2

    Moonbear

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    Apparently only a very little bit! I can't imagine a 14 year old being ready to decide who to marry already! I wasn't even allowed to go on a real date until I was 16. :bugeye: Geez, life might have been pretty different if I was allowed to marry the boy whose name was written inside hearts all over my notebooks. :surprised
     
  4. May 23, 2005 #3

    Math Is Hard

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    I was wondering how 14-year-olds would even be able to convince their parents that they are ready for marriage, but I also remember seeing girls about that age in my junior high classes who had accidentally gotten themselves in "the family way".

    Having a baby out of wedlock in Alabama, when I was growing up there, was pretty much unheard of, so I guess they had the age for marriage set pretty low to accomodate any shotgun weddings that might be necessary. :biggrin:

    Folks were pretty religious in the small town where I grew up and I don't imagine things have changed much.

    Still, I think it's interesting that marriage is OK at 14 (if the parents will consent), but for teens who are not married, the legal age of consent for sexual relations is 16.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2005
  5. May 23, 2005 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    It is also interesting to consider that the current concept of the acceptable age for wedlock is but a flash in the pan; even in cultural terms. Just two generations ago the standards were very different.
     
  6. May 23, 2005 #5

    Moonbear

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    Yeah, my grandmother was practically an old maid getting married at 19! :surprised And little did my dad know when he told me I wasn't getting married until I was 30 that he had nothing to worry about. :rolleyes:
     
  7. May 23, 2005 #6

    Math Is Hard

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    Reckon that's what you git fer spurnin' all yer handsome first cousins who came a courtin' when you was 12, heartless hussy! :biggrin:
     
  8. May 23, 2005 #7
    Moonbar's uppity ain't she?
     
  9. May 23, 2005 #8

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: Yup, that'll larn me.
     
  10. May 25, 2005 #9

    Danger

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    One of my schoolmates was married at 16. When she got sick, she had to go to her parents' home and get a note because they wouldn't accept one from her husband!
     
  11. May 25, 2005 #10

    Math Is Hard

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    :rofl: :rofl:

    My mom was just barely 16 when I came along. Once, in the middle of the night, we had some bad tornados coming through and orders came to evacuate our building. My mother answered the door (in jammies and pigtails) and some fireman began immediately rushing her out the door. She screamed "No, wait! My baby! My baby!" They said, "Forget about your doll, sweetheart, there's a tornado coming and we have to get you out of here!"

    Needless, to say, she was finally able to convince them to bring me too! :smile:
     
  12. May 25, 2005 #11

    Danger

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    It's a good thing that they weren't as stupid as the Essex County School Board, or you'd be somewhere in Oz now. :biggrin:
     
  13. Nov 1, 2007 #12
    one thing u have to take into account is that the law dates back to 1911 when marrriage at that age was common. My grandmother was considered an old maid when she got married at like 25. She seems to think i should have already gotten married and i'm barely 20.
     
  14. Nov 1, 2007 #13
    Cultural norms are determined by socialization. Different cultures around the world have different beliefs because they were taught by their ancestors that their ways are right.
    So, everything is relative. For example, a 30-year-old man being with a 17-year-old woman may be seen as a " child predator" when in reality this is something accepted everywhere around the world but the U.S.
    It's amazing how socialization shapes us.
     
  15. Nov 1, 2007 #14
    Many states allow first cousins to marry. It poses no particular problem.
     
  16. Nov 1, 2007 #15
    Is it too late to have the minimum age set to 58?
     
  17. Nov 1, 2007 #16

    Moonbear

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    Since this thread has been resurrected, I'll comment on this. I'm wondering if it's more myth than fact that people got married that much younger in our grandparents' generation. Granted, they weren't waiting until their 30s like our generation often does, but I don't think they were marrying in their teens either. Both sets of my grandparents were married in their early to mid-20s (my grandfathers older than my grandmothers...it never occurred to me before, but one of my grandfathers passed away recently, and looking at his birthdate and wedding date, I realized he was 25 when he got married to my grandmother who is only a couple years younger, my other grandfather was 23 when he married my grandmother who was 21). A few generations back, with poorer nutrition, girls wouldn't have likely even gone through puberty by 14, so it would be odd to consider that an appropriate age for marriage.
     
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