As it turns out, Louisiana conservatives have seen all of the “Fight For 15” Protests over the years, and they completely misunderstood them.
Republicans in Louisiana are certainly “fighting for 15”, but for another 15: the age when girls can legally marry.
Even though the age of consent in the state is 17, the state GOP thinks that men should be able to marry girls two years before that.
The state her no minimum marriage age at the moment, so it leaves the door for child marriages open.
Democrats wanted to fix that by doing the logical thing in the situation – set the minimum marriage age the same as the age of consent, which is 17-years-old.
Republicans, though, had other plans for the matter, and even though the vote was 63-to-31 for the amendment in favor of setting the age at 17, Republicans rewrote the bill to set the age at 15.
Republican Rep. Nancy Laundry said that they want children to be born into wedlock if possible, so they’re discouraging that by setting the age at 17.
Republican Rep. Valarie Hodges says that a lot of 16-year-olds get pregnant, and she believes it would better for them to be able to get married than the child to be born illegitimately.
Republican Beryl Amedee brought an amendment that would allow Republicans to rewrite the bill, and it would once again leave children vulnerable.
Children would be able to go before a judge that will determine if they are allowed to marry their chosen, or not chosen, spouse.
Democratic Rep. Pat Smith says that they need to protect the children in the state, as more than 4,500 children under the age of 18 have been married between 2000 and 2010 in the state.
One of them has been 12-year-old, so one must wonder how competent the judges are when they can decide that 12-year-old is allowed to get married.
Louisiana’s governor just recently signed the “heartbeat bill” in the state that bans endings of pregnancies under any case.