An extraneous not in a 2007 law briefly allowed children of any age to marry in Arkansas, as long as they had parental permission. The botched passage read:
In order for a person who is younger than eighteen (18) years of age and who is not pregnant to obtain a marriage license, the person must provide the county clerk with evidence of parental consent to the marriage.
In a special session last week, the state legislature re-established the old minimum ages for marriage with parental permission: 16 for girls and 17 for boys. Evidently legislators abandoned the attempt to carve out an exception for girls younger than 16 who are pregnant, perhaps fearing that the mysterious marriage not would slip back in.
Here's a rundown of legal marriage ages in various states. Until a couple years ago, when lawmakers established a minimum marriage age of 15, Kansas was among the loosest, allowing girls as young as 12 to marry with parental permission. Neighboring Nebraska had a minimum age of 17, the sort of discrepancy that can cause tabloid headlines.