Until 2013, the United States was legally forbidden to recognise the marriages of same-sex couples. Despite same-sex marriage being legal in several states in the country, the existence of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) prevented the government from formally acknowledging them.
But, things have changed recently. 2013 saw the law repealed and DOMA was deemed unconstitutional, granting many married same-sex couples the same rights that heterosexual couples have (such as benefits) whilst a grand total of 35 states (out of 50) now allow same-sex marriages to take place.
However, in 15 states, opponents to same-sex marriage are still as vocal as ever with one common argument being that it is ‘destroying the sanctity of marriage’. Well, those claims are officially unfounded after new research reveals the real rate at which same-sex couples divorce.
In research conducted by the Williams Institute which looked at the patterns of relationship recognition in the United States, they found that while 2% of straight marriages end in divorce, just 1.1% of same-sex couples get divorced. If you include civil unions and domestic partnerships then that figure is bumped up to 1.6% but the point is, the gap still remains, firmly doing away with claims that same-sex couples can’t do marriage or are destroying its values.
Furthermore, the firm also noted that most (51%) married same-sex couples are female and they also make up 64% of all legally recognised same-sex relationships (again, including domestic partnerships and civil unions). That doesn’t tell us a whole lot other than lesbian and bisexual women really like wedding cake but for party and wedding planners it’s a valuable stat.
Finally, the researchers also looked into the “Windsor Effect” which is what they’re calling the changes following the United States v. Windsor decision which is what took down DOMA once and for all. They explain that although same-sex marriages had started to level off leading up to June 2013 (when DOMA was repealed) the decision led to same-sex marriage numbers jumping right back up again.
You can read more data from the study at the source link below.
Source: Williams Institute