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Will your ministers officiate my marriage if I am under 18?

No. Ministers of Satan ordained by The Satanic Temple may not officiate weddings in which either participant is under the age of eighteen, regardless of parental or court consent, and even under circumstances where the wedding may be legal according to local laws, and regardless of local definitions of the age of majority or being a minor.

Worldwide, the minimum age for agreeing to marriage without parental or judicial “permission” is almost universally at or above 18 years. Currently the only exceptions are: Yemen, East Timor, Kuwait, Andorra, and Mississippi.

Although many countries make allowances for underage people to be married by parental or judicial “consent”, married minors often have no legal standing to get divorced unless they also get judicial or parental approval for the divorce. These marriages therefore can lock underage people into a marriage that they are legally unable to get out of, regardless of their own desires or the circumstances they find themselves in.

Studies show that underage marriage, which disproportionately affects girls over boys (roughly 86% of underage marriages involve an underage girl), has significant adverse effects on the health and future educational and economic prospects of the underage parties. When underage girls are married, they face substantially increased levels of domestic violence, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy. As mentioned above, they are then locked into these abusive marriages without any legal recourse to leave.

The United Nations defines any marriage in which one or both parties are under the age of 18 as a child marriage, which it has labeled “a fundamental violation of human rights.”

If you are under 18 and sincerely believe that marriage is the correct path for you at this time in your life, you will have to pursue some other option. Our Ministers are responsible for embodying and upholding our religious values in every ritual they perform. In this case, considerations of justice, scientific data, and concern for bodily autonomy all preclude our ministers from solemnizing marriages involving anyone under eighteen years of age.

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