Georgia Governor Signs Bill Plugging Child Marriage Loophole

Teens under 16 will no longer be allowed to marry in Georgia.

Gov. Sonny Perdue signed legislation Tuesday that closes a loophole in state law that allowed couples of any age to get married without parental consent in the case of a pregnancy.

The legislation was prompted by the case of a pregnant, 37-year-old woman who married a 15-year-old boy last year.

While the new law bans teens under 16 from marrying, it allows 16- or 17-year-olds to wed with the approval of a parent or guardian and a probate judge.

GOP State Rep. Bobby Franklin has said the legislation will help right the "embarrassment" Georgia suffered over the case of the 15-year-old boy.

Lisa Lynnette Clark pleaded guilty last month to statutory rape for having sex with the 15-year-old, a friend of her teenage son.

Days before her arrest in November, she married the boy. Clark, who gave birth to a son, was sentenced to nine months in prison.