Back in March, right before the world was hit by Coronamania, we told you how some Oklahoma lawmakers were hard at work protecting the rights of their constituents to marry teenage girls. Now we know why!
Check out this story from the Society Pages at Muskogee Now:
Social media outraged as Wagoner man, 53, marries 16-year-old girl
Kevin Bowman is a year older than his father-in-law.
Bowman, 53, is married to Larry Longoria’s sixteen-year-old daughter. Longoria is 52, and he signed his consent for his teenage daughter to marry a man who is 37 years older than her.
I know rural Oklahoma is stuck in a backward, behind-the-times culture and stuff like this is way too common, but that doesn’t pass the smell test. Granted, most things in the Muskogee area don’t pass the smell test, but you get my point.
The couple were married in Wagoner County. In Oklahoma, it is legal for 16-year-olds to marry with consent of one of their parents, but it us unusual for them to marry one so much older.
Muskogee-area social media has exploded with rage and disgust at the marriage, which happened in September. The bride’s Facebook account said yesterday she is deactivating it, and Bowman’s last public post is from April.
Unless I’m exploiting it for profit, I think it’s silly for people to care about the private sexual lives of consenting adults – “To each their own,” right? – but when one of those consenting adults is marrying a 16-year-old girl, yeah, I don’t blame people for getting all worked up. Who knows? Maybe Cupid’s arrow took a strange shot, but there are lots of red flags here and DHS should be looking into it if they haven’t already.
Haha. Just kidding. We know they won’t.
I did my own digging to see if the story was true, and found the following marriage certificate on OSCN. I blurred out the 16-year-old-girl’s name and signature. I did this to protect her identity, and to save you the stomach-cringing moment of seeing her childlike signature on the line next to that of her 53-year-old husband:
There’s a part of me that wants to make some jokes about this. You know, standard TLO riffs like “In all fairness, the dowry was a mobile home meth-lab and old El Camino” or “I heard the bachelorette party was at Brickopolis” or “Did they walk down the aisle to Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On”, but I should probably take the high road and let our commenters do that for me instead. Or maybe I should just lock the comments. We’ll see.