It's a law that the top law-enforcement official of a neighboring state calls ridiculous:
In Kansas, it's OK for children to have sex as long as they're married, and they can get married whenever their parents say they're ready.
Nebraska Atty. Gen. Jon Bruning lashed out at the law this week after a pregnant 14-year-old Nebraska girl came across state lines into Kansas to marry her 22-year-old boyfriend - who was later charged with first-degree sexual assault. In Nebraska, children must be at least 17 to get married.
Despite this example, Kansas lawmakers say the law hasn't been a major issue in recent years. At Douglas County District Court, only four minors have applied for marriage licenses since the beginning of 2004, according to a review of records this week. The youngest was 16 - old enough to legally consent to sex under Kansas law.
"If the people of Kansas contact my colleagues and I and tell us 'We want it changed,' we'd certainly look at it," said Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence. "But we haven't seen a lot of 14-year-olds getting married. I don't think this is a problem."
Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said it might be worthy of discussion.
"At first blush, it does seem to make some sense to set a minimum age requirement for marriage," he said.
Whitney Watson, a spokesman for Atty. Gen. Phill Kline, said Kline did not have a position on the law.
Kansas law says that before children younger than 18 may marry, they must have consent of a father, mother or legal guardian and consent of a judge. But if all parents or legal guardians of the child give their consent, the judge's consent isn't required.
It's normally a crime to have sex with someone younger than 16 in Kansas, but the laws don't apply if the parties are married.