Youtube prankster Coby Persin recently took to Times Square to photograph himself and his ‘wife’, who was 12 years old, in order to raise awareness of the long-standing legality of young marriage in Virginia.
As a result, New Yorkers were stunned at the obscenity, and thus the state of Virginia has now passed a bill that update previous laws on marriage, which until now made it legally sound for girls aged 12 or 13 to be married, on the grounds of parental consent and of them being pregnant.
The legal age has now been amended to 18, and 16 on those same grounds.
“We hope that legislators will see the efforts in Virginia as a wake-up call about how their laws can facilitate forced marriages of children,” said Jeanne Smoot, Tahirih’s senior counsel for policy and strategy, according to the Washington Post.
Activist fought for the bill stating that the original law constituted forced marriage, human trafficking and statutory rape under the disguise of marriage.
The new legislation was passed by state politicians Jill Holtzman Vogel, a Republican, and Jennifer McClellan, a Democrat.
This however is not the first to be heard on this matter; similar bills have also been passed this year, in California, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.