Sunday 18 November, 2018

Marriage Bill passed; legal marriage age now 18

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley contributes to debate on the Marriage Bill in Parliament on Friday, June 9, 2017

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley contributes to debate on the Marriage Bill in Parliament on Friday, June 9, 2017

The Miscellaneous Provisions Marriage Bill 2016, has been passed.

The Bill was passed in Parliament on Friday without amendments, with 35 members voting for, zero against and zero abstentions.

The Bill, which amends the Marriage Act Chap 45:01, the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act Chap 45:02, the Hindu Marriage Act Chap 45:03, the Orisa Marriage Act Chap 44:04, and the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act Chap 45:51 raises the legal age of marriage to 18, effectively outlawing child marriage.

A smiling Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said he was elated that the Bill has been passed and thanked the members of the Opposition bench for supporting the Bill.

Contributing to debate on the Bill just before it was passed unanimously in the House, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley took Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to task for her defense of Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Secretary General Sat Maharaj over his position on child marriage. 

"...here it is the Leader of the Opposition is quoted in a front page story defending Sat and we all know what Sat's position is. Sat's position is 'leave it so'," Rowley said.

He noted what he described as an unusual occurrence, in the Opposition bringing members of the different faiths to present their views - child marriage defences. 

"If the Opposition leader in this house defending Sat position, that is allyuh position," he added. 

Rowley said Government was intervening and speaking on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. 

 

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