Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

No Child Brides in N.J.: UPDATE: Gov. Christie Vetoes Bill

Update: 11 May 2017
Governor Christie has vetoed the bill

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill that would have outlawed underage marriage in the state, saying the lack of exceptions trampled on cultural and religious traditions of some communities in the state.

Christie prevented the enactment of state Bill A3091. Sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Morris County), the measure would have banned underage marriage without exceptions, a first for any US state. It was adopted by the Assembly in November 2016 and the New Jersey Senate in March.

“An exclusion without exceptions would violate the cultures and traditions of some communities in New Jersey based on religious traditions,” Christie said in his veto announcement on Thursday. “Judicial oversight would permit consideration of these factors in the 16- and 17-year-old timeframe.”

“All 50 states have established minimum ages for the issuance of marriage licenses, and all 50 states have statutory exceptions. New Jersey should not depart from that norm," Christie added.

A blanket ban on underage marriage would also be inconsistent with state law allowing 16-year-olds to consent to sex or have an abortion without parental permission, Christie said. Given that law, “it is disingenuous to hold that a 16-year-old may never consent to marriage.”

Between 1995 and 2012, nearly 3,500 minors got married in New Jersey, including  163 between the ages of 13 and 15. 

The Senate approved legislation that prohibit teenagers under 18 from getting married to prevent forced child marriages. Protesters gathered for a demonstration against the practice at Penn Station Newark last year. (Luke Nozicka | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

By Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com 

TRENTON -- New Jersey teenagers would not be able to get married until they turn 18 under a bill passed by the state Senate Monday that aims to protect girls from being forced into arranged marriages. 

The Senate approved the legislation by a 26-to-5 vote, four months after the Assembly approved the bill. It now goes to Gov. Chris Christie who will decide whether to sign (A3091) into law.

New Jersey would be the first state in the nation to remove all exceptions that require minors to wait until they are 18 years old to get married. 

Teenagers ages 16 and 17 may marry now but only with parental consent, and children under 16 may marry only with parental consent and a state judge's approval.

Unchained At Last, a non-profit organization that helps young women and girls leave forced marriages, testified at committee hearings that the practice associated with some conservative religions is more widespread than people think. Between 1995 and 2012, nearly 3,500 minors got married in New Jersey, including  163 between the ages of 13 and 15. 

"Marriage is a legal contract and it should be reserved for adults," said Sen. Nellie Pou (D-Passaic), one of the bill's sponsors, said after the vote. "It is startling for people to learn that there are many underage marriages happening here in New Jersey. As a state, we have a responsibility to protect our residents, and moral obligation to protect children and this bill takes the necessary steps to do that."

If the bill is signed into law, New Jersey would be the first state to remove all exemptions permitting child marriages.

Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Warren) spoke against the bill, calling it unnecessary with the safeguards that already exist. He also pointed New Jersey Right to Life opposes the bill out of fear it will lead pregnant girls to seek abortions.

Looking at health department statistics, Doherty noted that 97 percent of the marriages involved 16- and 17-year-olds. He speculated many are young people who enlisted in the military and "enter adulthood much earlier." There should be an exemption for them, Doherty said.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), in a statement after the vote, said the bill was "about preserving basic human rights and ensuring that young girls, in particular, are not forced into marriage against their will."