Friday, November 19, 2021

Raising the age of marriage (and voting)

I've been teaching on marriage this week, the focus being on same-sex marriage and arguments for abolishing marriage, but I had missed the news that there are moves afoot to raise the minimum age in England and Wales from 16 to 18.


It seems this is mainly to prevent children being forced into marriage, which doesn't seem particularly controversial. Nonetheless, even if this doesn't really impact my current teaching, it would be relevant next semester when I look at arguments regarding the voting age. It's often said that if 16 is old enough to get married (etc) then it should be old enough to vote. This argument is undermined though if 16 year-olds are deemed not old enough for other rights.


That said, David Runciman's suggestion of lowering the voting age to six has been in the news again lately. I don't know his views on marriage, but I assume he doesn't think that six year-olds should marry, so the two rights certainly don't have to go hand in hand.

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