The History Of Movements Against Teenage Marriage Here In America
The controversy over whether underage marriage should remain legal here in the United States of America is nothing new. In the late 1990s, Maryland tightened the provisions in its marriage laws pertaining to minors after a 29-year-old man named Wayne Compton married his pregnant 13-year-old girlfriend, Tina Akers, in that state. However, no story drew as much media attention as the one involving a 22-year old man named Matt Koso who traveled with his pregnant 14-year-old girlfriend, Crystal Guyer Koso, from their home state of Nebraska down to Kansas to get legally married in 2005. The local authorities in Falls City, Nebraska eventually became aware of the marriage. However, they did not find it in the interest of justice or in the best interest of anyone involved to bring any sort of criminal charges against Mr. Koso. Nonetheless, after the then-Nebraska Attorney General, Jon Bruning, got wind of this situation, he became dead set on turning Mr. Koso into the biggest criminal that he could make him out to be.
Mr. Bruning was just another career politician who couldn’t have cared less about Crystal Guyer Koso or the baby (Samara) that she and Mr. Koso had procreated. He just wanted to make an example out of Mr. Koso no matter whom he had to harm in his line of fire. Mr. Bruning is a typical example of a political hypocrite. He is a member of the Republican Party, which is supposed to support the institution of marriage and family; and he is also a member of the Tea Party. However, he disparaged the very institution of marriage that he was supposed to be supporting as a conservative Republican in that he referred to Mr. Koso’s marriage to his young wife as just a “piece of paper.” Mr. Bruning added insult to injury in that he insisted that Mr. Koso had misused the institution of marriage as a bulletproof vest against a “statutory rape” conviction. This statement on Mr. Bruning’s part could not have been more ignorant and offensive than it was inasmuch as he still went through with all the proceedings to prosecute Mr. Koso for doing something for which a 15-year-old boy might not have even gotten a scolding from his parents. Luckily, when Mr. Bruning ran for Congress in 2012, he lost the election and Washington, D.C. was spared the indignities of his presence there. He was definitely never Capitol Hill material in the first place.
If you read the online article titled “Neverland Revisited,” you will clearly see that Mr. Koso was not a sexual predator. In fact, Mr. Koso stayed married to his wife, Crystal Guyer Koso, even after she became pregnant with someone else’s baby while Mr. Koso was serving time in prison as a result of Mr. Bruning’s witch hunt against him. After Mr. Koso was released from prison, he immediately went to live with her again as her husband; and he even raised the baby that she had with another man as his own. I would have to say that these events only disprove Mr. Bruning’s baseless accusation that Mr. Koso misused the institution of marriage as a bulletproof vest against criminal prosecution after Mr. Koso had found out that his girlfriend was pregnant with his baby at the age of 13.
Nonetheless, the Nebraska state government continued to meddle into this couple’s lives and wreak havoc upon them after they got to be reunited. The detrimental impact that these public state officials have had on the Kosos has been in the form of money problems, needless ostracism, and even clear infringements upon their custodial rights over their own children. Mr. Koso being on the sex offender registry and having a police record hasn’t helped any of them either, to say the least. Luckily, Mr. Koso is scheduled for removal from the sex offender registry this year, at least to the best of my knowledge. The smartest move that this couple made was appearing on 20/20 as newlyweds back in 2005 after Mr. Bruning had launched his witch hunt against Mr. Koso. Mr. Koso emphasized on camera that he was not a pedophile, and his wife was quite emphatic that Mr. Bruning couldn’t have cared less about her or her daughter, Samara, despite that he had attempted to make himself out to be this knight in shining armor galloping in on his horse to rescue her from the sinister clutches of an older man, so to speak. I wish that 20/20 had done a follow-up story on this couple. I have continued to follow this couple’s story since then, and I can tell you candidly that they and their children would have been so much better off if the Nebraska state government, including Mr. Bruning, had never become involved in their lives. The hypocrisy of it all is that Mr. Bruning is a member of the Republican Party, which is supposed to be against governmental intrusion into people’s personal lives.
What really appalls me about that whole ordeal that the Kosos have suffered since 2005 is that there were narrow-minded people who actually believed that Mr. Koso posed a threat to young girls attending a middle school that was located near to where he, his wife (Crystal Guyer Koso), and their kids were living at the time. These same idiots insisted that parents should have been concerned about the proximity of Mr. Koso’s residence to this same middle school as though he were going to go berserk on these girls and accost them in some way. However, Mr. Koso has shown to be faithful to his wife, Crystal Guyer Koso, and he would have no reason to bother any of the girls attending that middle school. He is also a parent himself. If I could confront these same individuals who started this scare regarding Mr. Koso, I would ask them why they have turned a blind eye to teenage boys as young as 13 years old who have done a *Levi Johnston on middle-school girls over the past so many decades. (*Note – I coined the term “do a Levi Johnston” inasmuch as Levi Johnston is representative of your typical deadbeat teenage father who wreaks havoc in the life of the underage girl he got pregnant and dishonors her family.) If you view the YouTube video below regarding a 13-year-old girl named Hannah whose teenage boyfriend pressured her into sex before she felt ready and got her pregnant, you will realize exactly what I mean. Even though the YouTube video below may not specify it, all the indications are there that the boyfriend later bailed on her.
Right after Mr. Bruning had brought criminal charges against Mr. Koso, Mr. Bruning told news reporters that he was going to have his staff actively review hospital records and birth certificates to identify adult men over 19 years old who had fathered babies with girls below the age of consent in Nebraska, which at the time was 16 years old. After I read about that statement of his, I found myself wanting to ask him face to face why he was doing absolutely nothing about all the punks under the age of 18 years old who were impregnating girls under 16 years old and wreaking havoc in their lives even after bailing on them. He has always been a politician who only seeks to further his own agenda rather than concern himself with the welfare of the people whom he is supposed to be serving.
Despite the 8-year age difference and the fact that one party was younger than 16 years old at the offset of their relationship, Mr. Koso has always treated his wife, Crystal Guyer Koso, much better than Levi Johnston treated Bristol Palin after Mr. Johnston had gotten Ms. Palin pregnant when both youngsters were still in high school. Mr. Koso has even been a better father to his kids than Mr. Johnston has ever been to the little boy that he fathered with Ms. Palin.
If you look into the background of Bristol Palin, you will find that she began dating Levi Johnston when she and Mr. Johnston were both in their early teens. By her senior year of high school, she became pregnant with Mr. Johnston’s baby. At first, Mr. Johnston pretended to be this caring and loving boyfriend who wanted to step up to the plate as her baby’s father. He got to travel across the country with the Palins while Sarah Palin was campaigning for vice president back in 2008. Therefore, he had plenty of incentives to put on an act as this young man who was willing to be the responsible father for Bristol Palin’s baby. However, after he and Bristol Palin’s relationship soured and they broke up, a different side of Mr. Johnston surfaced that was not so desirable and was likely the true side of his character. He began appearing on television talk shows to slander and defame the Palins and to capitalize on his identity as the father of Sarah Palin’s grandson – Tripp. By the year 2013, he owed as much as $67,000 in back child support to Bristol Palin for their son – Tripp. However, despite that he continued to capitalize off the fame that he had acquired from his involvement with the Palins and that he even went so far as to pose naked for Playgirl magazine, he also continued to evade his child support payments to Bristol Palin. In other words, he had the money to pay her the back child support that he owed her, but he obviously believed that it wasn’t his financial obligation or responsibility to do so. The women on The View all got to have a good laugh at him after they invited him onto their show to talk about his campaign to run for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. He had a mother who ended up serving time behind bars on drug-related charges. He wanted to misuse his identity as the father of Bristol Palin’s son to make waves for the Palins. However, he didn’t want to step up to the plate financially as the little boy’s father. He exhibited all the characteristics of a deadbeat teenage father, even after he had entered into his early twenties. In any event, his rocky relationship with Bristol Palin goes to show you that all is not always well for teenagers in the garden of same-age relationships. Therefore, it makes no sense to stigmatize Matt Koso’s marriage to Crystal Guyer Koso.
Levi Johnston eventually married some other woman. To make a long story short, karma caught up to him after he and his wife ended up becoming so destitute that they had no other choice but to move into his mother’s garage. Ultimately Bristol Palin got to have the last laugh at him despite all the humiliation and the difficulties that he had put her, their son, and her family through over the course of so many years. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if Tripp has forgotten what his father looks like and does not even think about him at this point in time.
Of course, the law never seemed to do much about Mr. Johnston’s transgressions as described above. Why? Because being on the same side of the legal age line as Bristol Palin and being the same age or *nearly the same age as her when he first entered into a relationship with her somehow gave him a free pass to become the deadbeat teenage father that he did and to behave as sordidly as he pleased in the eyes of society. (*Note – at the beginning of their relationship, Bristol Palin was 13 or 14 years old and Levi Johnston was 14 years old.) On the other hand, Mr. Koso had to walk the white line in the eyes of society simply because his wife was 13 years old when she became pregnant with his baby and he was 8 years older than her. Mr. Koso went above and beyond to prove that he truly loved Crystal Guyer Koso and that he was a good husband to her and a good father to their child, Samara, as well as any other children they subsequently procreated. However, somehow the issue of their 8-year age difference and Crystal Guyer’s young age at the offset of their relationship and marriage in some way made their happiness together as a couple and as parents to their children less acceptable to both society and the law than Mr. Johnston’s choice to get Bristol Palin pregnant in high school and later turn on both her and their son like the betraying angel that he was.
According to the Puritanical Establishment, Mr. Johnston was just another red-blooded, all-American teenage boy doing what any other young boy his age would have done when he got Bristol Palin pregnant in high school and subsequently turned into the most deplorable deadbeat teenage father with which any young girl had to contend. On the other hand, Mr. Koso could have done everything in the world to prove that he had honorable intentions for Crystal Guyer Koso from the time that he first fell in love with her, and the Puritanical Establishment would still have refused to see him as being any different than the next hardened criminal on the sex offender registry. This is how messed up our society’s way of thinking has become in recent years and to what our society’s ability to judge fairly has been reduced. Now subversive organizations like the Tahirih Justice Center and Unchained At Last wish to take away the very last line of defense that couples like Matt Koso and Crystal Guyer Koso can still resort to in order to show society that their love for each other is real and that they have a right to a future together, and these two subversive organizations want to make it unattainable everywhere. They want to outlaw all underage marriage here in our country under the premise that the Puritanical Establishment is always right about these matters and can never be challenged for any reason.
Matt Koso and Crystal Guyer Koso were both victims of a social convention that demonizes Loretta-Lynn-style marriages like theirs and candy-coats same-age, adolescent relationships that are doomed from the start like that of Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin. Our society is also trapped in this Puritanical bubble of do-gooder hypocrisy that has been debunked again and again in the form of scandals like that of the Duggars. As a good example to this effect, for years, Joshua Duggar misrepresented himself as this wholesome family man who distanced himself from the temptations of life, and he promoted this façade that all men should remain pure until marriage and wed within the realms of an age-appropriate, prima-donna-style environment, so to speak. He constantly flaunted off the image that he was this saint who was marrying what was close enough to being a high school sweetheart, if not one, before the unwritten deadline of 23 years old. He even stressed the importance of not kissing the love of your life on the lips until after you said, “I do.” However, after his phony baloney goodie two shoes were ripped directly from him, the whole world found out what a hypocrite he really was; and it was after he and his family went pointing the finger at others whose lifestyles did not meet up to their religious standards, with accusations of pedophilia. On the other hand, unlike Joshua Duggar and Levi Johnston, Matt Koso has always been transparent about who he is.
Shortly after Matt Koso and Crystal Guyer Koso had gotten married in Kansas back in 2005, the governor of that state at the time, Kathleen Sebelius, attempted to revamp the marriage laws in her state so that nobody under the age of 16 could get married under any circumstances. Her efforts were not completely successful inasmuch as the Kansas state legislature ultimately decided to set that minimum marriageable age at 15 years old for minors under certain conditions devised by that same bill. She then signed that same revised bill into law. In giving her reasons for doing so, she made a statement that could not have been any more stupid than it was. She said, “We have a responsibility to protect young Kansans from harm, and we have a duty to prevent abusers from using marriage as a way to conceal their abuse.” She also said that she wanted this revamp in the marriage law “so we don’t, after the fact, cover up abuse of children.” My response to her statements is that everything that she said in them could not be any further from the truth regarding marriages like that of Matt Koso and Crystal Guyer Koso. Now, let me get this all straight. Ms. Sebelius actually believes that some lowlife like Phillip Garrido had intentions of marrying Jaycee Lee Dugard after he kidnapped her at the age of eleven to make her his sex slave and forced her into bearing his child at the age of thirteen? Or that Ariel Castro wanted to take Gina DeJesus to the altar back in 2004 right after he kidnapped her and raped her when she was 14 years old? I don’t think so. Ms. Sebelius would have to have an extremely low IQ actually to believe any of the rhetoric that she spewed from her mouth after she had proposed to raise the minimum age for minors to get married in her state.
I researched into Ms. Sebelius’s background, and I found out that she is a career politician who has climbed her way up the ladder of public office on the coattail of her wealthy parents as well as the coattail of her politically successful husband. This is someone who has never really ever had to work for anything that she has gotten in life. She probably thought up her intellectually bankrupt speech regarding underage marriage while she was sitting in the comfort of her plush dining room, sipping her champagne and eating her caviar under a luxurious chandelier made of diamonds. After I learned that she actually considered the notion of someday running for president of the United States of America, I prayed, in figurative words, that a dunce like her would never be given that opportunity. After I got the news in 2008 that President Barack Obama had actually appointed her as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, I began to question where his head was when he picked her for that office. I later heard that he had selected her for that position as a favor for her contributions to his presidential campaign. In any event, I sensed nothing but bad things in store for our country once she was to arrive to Washington, D.C. to occupy that same post.
Because of Ms. Sebelius’s blatant stupidity, Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) became a complete disaster upon its initial rollout in our nation. She eventually became the laughingstock of Capitol Hill after a whole string of failures with Obamacare because of her incompetence. When she was brought before Congress to answer up for her shortcomings and ongoing derelictions, she sat there with the facial expression of a schoolgirl who was sitting outside the principal’s office before being punished. Even the Democrats appeared to find her to be an embarrassment to their political party. She was also a no-show at one of those hearings after she had made an appearance on The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Ultimately she resigned from her position as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services in 2014, and she left Washington, D.C. in disgrace. It only goes to show you that she was never the brightest bulb in the bunch whenever it came to making important political decisions.
Perhaps if Ms. Sebelius had maintained the status quo with the Kansas marriage laws regarding the minimum marriageable age for minors back when she was the governor of that state and had only revamped those laws to include both parental consent and judicial consent in the picture, I would have had higher hopes for her once President Obama appointed her as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and she came to Washington, D.C. However, she has always made it apparent to me and many others that she is not someone who has the best interests of the people whom she is serving at heart. She even lied to a group of anti-abortionists that she was a devout Catholic who held their same beliefs on the sanctity of life, so to speak, and she kicked these same people to the curb after she got their votes to get her into office in Kansas. That is why I am saying that many of these elected officials who present themselves to be well-meaning do-gooders are individuals of which we must beware.
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