You may remember (but we’re guessing you don’t) that back in mid 2007, Arkansas inadvertently left an extra ‘not’ in its bill seeking to codify a minimum marriage age: "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." Essentially, non-pregnant teens could get hitched with their parent’s permission - no need to get pregnant to force a marriage if your parents object to your beau. But, AK’s governor Mike Beebe was not about to call lawmakers back from vacation to fix this problem. Clerks would have to be vigilante and everyone else would have to pray to God that the ACLU didn’t catch wind of this and set up dozens of child weddings.
Governor Beebe’s gambit paid off. There were no reported kid weddings according to the Associated Press. Which is good and bad. Good because kids should get a chance to be kids and not worry that some good-for-nothing spouse is going to ruin their credit rating with unauthorized Webkinz purchases on the joint credit card. Bad because a bunch of kids dressed up like they were getting married would have made an adorable photo gallery.
Would this have happened under the Mike Huckabee or Bill Clinton regimes? Hard to tell, Huckabee’s weight loss regimen left little time for anything else and Clinton may have seen wisdom in lowering the age of consent.