The Alaska House passed House Bill 62, sponsored by Democrat Rep. Matt Claman, which reduces the number of signers needed to witness a wedding ceremony in Alaska. The bill also has a provision that raises the legal age of marriage to 16, an amendment offered by Rep. Sara Rasmussen, an Anchorage Republican who typically votes with the Democrat-led caucus.
HB 62 modifies the marriage witness requirement and will allow Alaska to better compete with popular destination wedding states such as Hawaii and Florida, Claman said.
“With our unrivaled scenic beauty, Alaska has the potential to be one of the most desired destination wedding states in the nation. It’s time to remove unnecessary burdens on the wedding industry so we can welcome more visitors wishing to be married in Alaska,” he said.
The bill’s minor importance was overtaken by the marriage age amendment. Currently, people can get married in Alaska as young as age 14, but only if a judge determines they are mature enough for the responsibility.
“It’s hard to imagine a time when 14 was a reasonable age to marry,” said Claman. “Having carried legislation in the past to deal with the issue, I was pleased to help remove some of the archaic ideas around marriage that still exist in Alaska statute.”
HB 62 passed the House with a vote of 27-13, and now moves to the Senate.