Same – Sex Marriages No Different – Some Work and Some Don’t
In a study conducted by the Williams Institute, through the University of California at Los Angeles, researchers concluded that, while same-sex divorce rates are currently lower than in heterosexual marriages, the rates will probably be comparable within about 10 years.
The study considered about 150,000 same-sex couples–the number that had filed legal documents for either marriage, domestic partnership or same-sex civil unions. Officials say that this represents about 20% of those who acknowledged in census reports that they were living in a same-sex relationship. According to the study, about one percent of those who had filed some type of registration had subsequently sought to legally dissolve the relationship (compared with two percent of heterosexual marriages that annually end in divorce).
Researchers believe, however, that the divorce rate among same-sex couples will continue to rise and will likely equal that of heterosexual marriages within a few years. They argue that the first group of gay marriages were typically among people who had been partners for extended periods of time, so there was already a dynamic of partnership and longevity. Accordingly, most parties to same-sex marriage have been older, more financially stable, and more emotionally mature. However, as same-sex marriage becomes a legally and socially acceptable option, it will naturally involve more and more people with the same problems that lead to heterosexual divorce–immaturity, lack of financial resources, and lack of commitment.
Researchers noted that the numbers may be somewhat skewed, as until recently many states have not had the capacity to distinguish same-sex divorce filings from heterosexual divorce filings. Additionally, judges in some states have been reluctant to consider divorce proceedings in a same-sex case, where the parties were married in a state that allowed gay marriage, but are seeking divorce in a different state. The Missouri Supreme Court only recently ruled that judges there had the authority to consider a divorce petition by a same-sex couple married in Iowa. The state’s ban on gay marriage was ruled unconstitutional in November, 2014, but the matter is still unresolved.
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