Fewer Divorces in Same-Sex States

Aug 8, 2012 by

A recent article on Edge on the Net by contributor Peter Cassels points out that contrary to what many might expect, the states where same-sex marriage is legal have the fewest incidences of divorce. Although the main argument against gay marriage is the belief that it undermines the state of marriage, it is actually the Bible belt states that have the highest divorce rates in the general U.S. population.

Cassels backs up his observations with statistics that show the states with same-sex marriage equality laws all have low divorce rates compared to the national median. Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage and it also has had the lowest divorce rate in the nation. Same-sex marriages also are legal in Washington, D.C. where the divorce rate is only 2.1 per 1,000 residents. New York is the largest and most recent state to allow same-sex unions also has a low divorce rate of 2.5 per 1,000. Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island have all legalized same-sex marriage and also have lower rates of divorce than the rest of the nation.

Nevada allows legal domestic partnerships but it also has the nation’s highest divorce rate at 6.6 divorces per 1,000 residents. Cassels blames Nevada’s high incidence of divorce on the fact that the Silver State has been the capital of quick marriages and divorces for decades. He also points out that some experts have said that the divorce rates may be higher in areas like the South where opposition to premarital sex leads to more couples marrying at young ages and an increased risk of failed marriages later on. Marrying at an older age decreases the chance of divorce.

Data shows that there’s a relationship between education, income and marriage longevity with people who are higher educated and have a higher degree of economic security and sophistication tend to be more acceptable of same-sex marriage and therefore will have lower divorce rates in the states where they live. Those areas with lower overall income and education levels will naturally have higher divorce rates.


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