Consider some of these North Carolina tragic stories provided by Liberty Counsel, an international non-profit litigation organization that specializes in religious liberty issues:
"'I'm sure there's a lot of people who are getting married young, who are doing it with good intentions,' says Drew Reisinger. 'But what we've come to realize is that there are a lot of people who feel like they got forced to marry their rapist.'
"Drew has been the Buncombe County, North Carolina, registrar of deeds for over a decade. For years, North Carolina had one of the lowest marriage ages in the country, allowing children as young as 14 to be wed.
"Year after year, Drew did what he could to try to make sure the kids were not being forced to marry against their will, but often there was not a lot he could do. There were many times that performing this part of his job made Drew sick ...
"Like the time he had to sign off on a young teen marrying a man more than three times her age. But Drew had to follow the law, even when it was revolting to do so. In that instance, the girl was wed to a man old enough to be her grandfather.
"According to a study conducted by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), 30% of marriages involving a child younger than 15 had an age difference of more than four or five years, meaning that unless the couple was married, sex with the minor would be a crime.
"Sadly, in a move akin to permanent prostitution, some of the minors marry out of financial desperation. Former McDowell County, NC, Register of Deeds Tonia Hampton reports that she once had to marry an underage boy to a 78-year-old man. The boy confided that he 'was making money from the marriage.'
"In another incident, the registrar recalled a mother bringing in her 16-year-old daughter to marry an incarcerated man twice her age. 'I was just appalled, but what do you do?' Tonia said. 'I just felt like if I had some options to say no, I may have prevented them a lot of heartache.'"