9 Feb 2012

American Samoa Senate kills marriage age bill

3:13 pm on 9 February 2012

The American Samoa Senate has rejected a bill which would have raised the age of girls to marry from 14 to 18.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, Lualemaga Faoa, says a concern expressed the Reverend Aliioaiga Filoialii, who testified on the bill, is for girls under 18 who become pregnant and have the consent of their parents to marry.

He says if the age of marriage is raised to 18, pregnant teens who have the blessing of their parents to marry can't do so under the proposed law.

Senator Lualemaga says he agrees with the church minister that the decision for girls to marry at this age should be left to their parents.

He says he feels the current statute is adequate.