Saturday 25 September 2021

Bill Would Forbid Minors To Marry, Even With Parental Consent

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Carmen Quesada, of the Libertarian Movement, is one of the signers of the bill to ban marriages with minors.
Carmen Quesada, of the Libertarian Movement, is one of the signers of the bill to ban marriages with minors.

QCOSTARICA – Legislators of the Women’s Committee of the Legislative Assembly (Comisión de la Mujer de la Asamblea Legislativa) have submitted a stiff bill that would prohibit minors to marry even with consent of guardians or parents.

The bill contains reforms to the Civil, Penal and Family codes as well as to the election law (Código Penal, del Código de Familia, del Código Civil and the la Ley orgánica del Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones).

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The reform bill carries the signatures of Lorelly Trejos and Maureen Clarke of National Liberation Party (PLN), Citizen Action Party (PAC) deputy Emilia Molina, Libertarian Carmen Quesada, Evangelical Fabricio Alvarado and Social Christian Humberto Vargas. It also contains a prohibition against adults and minors having sexual relations.

But a puzzling twist is that teens even as early as 13 years old can legally engage in mutually consensual sex. “If two adolescents are of similar age and there is no evidence of imbalance of power or violence sexual relations have no legal interest.,” reads a portion of the bill.

The drafters of the bill say that the purpose is to protect children from abusive relations and especially girls from statutory rape.

But the “imbalance of power” or strength may prove difficult to prove in practice.

The country already has a penal code prohibiting sexual intercourse, regardless of the purported nature, by adults with minors.


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