The North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission expresses its support to the General Assembly on the passage of Senate Bill 35 which amends the lawful age of marriage in North Carolina to sixteen years of age or older and provides a maximum four year age difference for a sixteen or seventeen year old to marry. This legislation was one of the Commission’s priorities for the 2021 legislative session.
"North Carolina has become a destination for those seeking child marriages," said Jennifer Haigwood, chair of the Commission. "Human trafficking was a large concern for the bill sponsors in both the Senate and the House and this bill serves as a deterrent and one more tool in our toolbox to combat human trafficking in North Carolina."
The Commission thanks the bill’s sponsors—Senator Vickie Sawyer, Senator Danny Britt, Senator Valerie P. Foushee, Representative Jason Saine, Representative Kristin Baker, and Representative Ashton Clemmons—as well as the many advocacy groups for their efforts in making this important change to North Carolina’s marriage laws.