CA Forced Child Brides Could Spread If...

Jul 28, 2022

California allows marriages between “child brides” and adult men who are often many decades their senior. Some of these “marriages” are forced. Now, Congress wants to foist this sick child abuse on all other states. The so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” has already passed the House as HR 8404. If it passes the Senate (S 4556), every “state, territory, and possession of the United States” will be forced to accept and endorse the marriage of “minor attracted persons,” the new euphemism for pedophiles, to children.

Today we will hear from Sara Tasneem, a child bride who was forced to marry into an Islamic cult. Please take a moment to fax the Senate NOW, then read on for Sara’s story. — Mat

Tell Senators: We will NOT endorse pedophile marriages to child brides! VOTE NO on HR 8404/S 4556!

The summer Sara turned 15, the world was bright. She was planning to spend the summer with her father in California before returning home to her mother in Colorado. Sara was looking forward to joining the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) when she returned that fall. ROTC would be followed by a stint in the U.S. Air Force, then law school. Sara had big goals for her life.

But Sara’s goals were stolen by a father eager to initiate her into his cult.

Soon after arriving in California, Sara’s father took her to a conference. She was told the “religious leader” had selected a husband for her. Over a glass of orange juice, 15-year-old Sara met the man she would be forced to marry that very night.

“After the ceremony, I was handed over to this man,” Sara said. “He essentially took custody of me, since I was underage, and took me out of the country. And once we left the country there was nothing that anybody could do to help me.”

Before the end of that fateful summer, Sara would be married off as a child bride in a cult ceremony, kidnapped, taken to a foreign country and impregnated.

Sara’s new “husband” controlled every aspect of her life—her finances, time and even the phone. Sara was not allowed to call her mother, to whom she was supposed to be returned at the end of the summer. In fact, it would be months before Sara would hear her mother’s voice again and longer yet before she would see her.

Pregnant by 16, Sara’s husband returned them to the U.S. so his baby could be born in a modern American hospital. He also had their “marriage” legally recognized. Now Sara was really trapped.

Sara was not allowed to return to school or continue her studies. “I would take my daughter to the park and see kids my age walking to school – and I wanted to be them,” she said. “I felt like this wasn’t how I wanted the rest of my life to be.”

Sara’s husband would not allow her to have money. It didn’t matter anyway because as a minor, Sara was not legally able to open her own bank account. And while the law allowed Sara to be forced into a child bride marriage, as a minor, she was not legally able to file for divorce!

The vote in the Senate could come at any moment, and this vote will be close. Tell Senators to STOP HR 8404!

Tell Senators: We will NOT endorse pedophile marriages to child brides! VOTE NO on HR 8404.

Sara began taking online classes to finish her high school diploma while her “husband” was at work. Once she received her GED, Sara continued with computer and culinary classes, desperate to gain an education that might help her, and her children, escape the abuser.

For years, Sara plotted and waited, scraping together pennies as she found them, saving for a future she hoped would come. Nearly a decade after her father had delivered her into the hands of his cult, Sara’s husband left her behind in America while he went to his home country for a visit. Sara quickly filed divorce paperwork and was finally able to escape her abuser.

“So much of this story, for me, is how much of a struggle life was after divorcing him,” Sara told reporters. “What people don’t always think about is the major setbacks and obstacles that child marriage victims face in rebuilding their lives.”

Today, Sara is pursuing a master's in public administration with plans to use her experience to advocate for others. “It’s not only a problem with this cult my father was a part of. This happens across all kinds of religions and backgrounds here in the U.S.”

Studies show that more than 250,000 children were forced into marriage between 2000–2010. In California alone, children as young as 10 have been married off to “minor attracted persons,” a much-too-polite euphemism for pedophiles.

If HR 8404 passes, every state, territory and “possession” of the U.S. will be forced to accept and endorse California’s sick child bride-pedophile marriages, and girls like Sara will be forced to suffer in silence.

Please help us put a stop to this abuse of American children. Please, STOP HR 8404 by faxing senators today. There is no time to waste as we expect the Senate to vote this week!

Please also prayerfully consider making a recurring monthly donation that will be DOUBLED IN IMPACT by the Challenge Grant. Please give generously today so Liberty Counsel can keep fighting for religious freedom for all our tomorrows!

Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel

P.S. Do not forget! Make sure your voice is heard in Washington, D.C. Send a fax and sign our petition today.

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“H.R. 8404—Respect for Marriage Act.” House of Representatives Committee on Rules. July 18, 2022.

‌Selby, Daniele. “Married at 15: An American Child Bride’s Story of Survival.” Global Citizen, June 28, 2018.