Girl Scout Cassie Levesque fought to end child marriage in her home state.
“I wanted to be a photographer, and I wanted to work with pandas. But I did not want to be a child bride,” the troop leader stated. “I feel that I’ve given an opportunity for girls to be and have experiences that kids have, and be able to go to school and go to high school, make friends, and actually be a kid.”
Levesque spearheaded the effort to raise the minimum marriage age to 16 years old (her earlier bill to raise the legal age to 18 couldn’t get past the House floor). She was inspired to reach out to her legislators when she learned about her own family history with child marriage.
“My great-grandmother on my dad’s side — she married a 49-year-old man at 16 — who both verbally and physically abused her,” she explained. “And then my grandmother on my mom’s said — she got married at 16.”
Levesque helped change the law as part of her Girl Scout USA Gold Award Project, and her bill was signed into law by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu on June 18th, 2018. Before that, girls age 13 and boys age 14 and above could get married with parental or court approval.