Thursday, February 1, 2018

We are running out of time! Help us end child marriage in MA

Massachusetts has no minimum age for marriage, girls as young as 14 are being forced to marry much older men.  We can help change this, but we are running out of time!  

The Act to End Child Marriage in MA (H2310/S785) is currently in the Judicial Committee and must be voted out of that committee before February 7, 2018.

Girls who marry as young teens are often trapped in abusive relationships, denied schooling, and are no longer eligible for any of the usual social safety nets provided for other children.
This is a FACT SHEET about the Act End Child Marriage in MA.
We  need your help to keep this legislation alive.

Let your legislators and the members of the Joint Judicial Committee know you support this bill and you want them to act.

Start with your own legislators. 

Please contact your own state senator and state rep, simply tell them you support this legislation and ask them to write a letter asking that this bill be voted out of committee and moved to the floor for a vote of the full legislature. Cape and Islands state senators and house reps contact here, all others find your senators and reps here.

We are all busy, but this is one of those issues that needs many individual voices. We must let our legislators know we are paying attention to this issue.

Email members of the Joint Judicial Committee.

The next step is to email the members of the committee that has the bill, and who, if they don't vote it out of committee will kill the bill.

Below is a sample letter and the email addresses of the Judicial Committee members. It is always better to write a personal note; if it helps copy/paste this letter and make any changes or use as is.
Women's rights are under attack at all levels of government, at the very least, we should be able to establish policies that allow young women and girls here in Massachusetts to reach their full potential.

Thank you for giving your voice to this issue, it really does make a difference.
The Joint Committee on the Judiciary:
William Brownsberger  on twitter: @WBrownsberger
Sonia Chang-Diaz on twitter: @SoniaChangDiaz ‏
John Keenan on twitter: @SenJohnFKeenan
Cynthia Creem on twitter: @cindycreem
Patricia Jehlen on twitter: @senjehlen ‏
Richard Ross on twitter: @SenRichardJRoss
Claire Cronin
James Cantwell on twitter: @repjimcantwell
Colleen Garry on twitter: @RepColleenGarry
Carole Fiola on twitter: @CaroleFiola
Daniel Hunt on twitter: @RepDanHunt
Michael Day on twitter: @mikeday4rep
Rady Mom on twitter: @repradymom
Paul Tucker on twitter: @PaulTuckerSalem
Bud Williams on twitter: @BudLWilliams

Sheila Harrington on twitter: @RepHarrington ‏
James Lyons on twitter: @RepJimLyons ‏

Honorable Members of the Judiciary Committee,

The Act to End Child Marriage in Massachusetts has been assigned to the Judiciary Committee. I ask you to bring it to a vote quickly as possible to assure that it will be brought to the full legislature for this legislative session.

I fully endorse H2310/S785 An Act to End Child Marriage in Massachusetts and am deeply concerned that child marriage poses a wide array of problems both for young girls and the entire constellation of families surrounding them. Early marriage promotes lives fraught with difficulty in accessing educational opportunities, successful earning capacities and increases risks of domestic violence and poverty.

The Massachusetts Legislature has done important work to support protections under the federal Violence Against Women Act and the Massachusetts Domestic Violence Protections and now with this bill Representative Kay Kahn and Senator Harriette Chandler are working to expand the safety net for these young women/girls.

Thank you for your consideration.


AFTER you’ve contacted these legislators, share this post on social media!

If you use twitter, please share your support for these bills, and include any of the members of the committee in your messages: #S785 #H2310. (Note – Twitter should not replace an email, but it is a good way to share your support after you make contact.)