NOM BLOG

NRO's Charles Cooke on The Gay Divorces

 

Charles Cooke, editorial associate for National Review, writes about low enthusiasm for same-sex marriage in places where it is legal, and about the high incidence of gay divorce:

"...Enthusiasm for marriage is somewhat lopsided by gender. Divorces, too. According to UCLA’s Williams Institute, two-thirds of legally recognized same-sex couples in the United States are lesbian. (Solely on the “marriage” front, in Massachusetts’s first four years, this statistic was 62 percent.) While data in the United States are clearly limited, Scandinavian countries have been at this a little longer. Denmark was the first country to introduce recognition of same-sex partnerships, coining the term “registered partnership” in 1989. Norway followed suit in 1993, and then Sweden in 1995. Again, Stockholm University’s study seems to confirm the American trend. In Norway, male same-sex marriages are 50 percent more likely to end in divorce than heterosexual marriages, and female same-sex marriages are an astonishing 167 percent more likely to be dissolved. In Sweden, the divorce risk for male-male partnerships is 50 percent higher than for heterosexual marriages, and the divorce risk for female partnerships is nearly double that for men. This should not be surprising: In the United States, women request approximately two-thirds of divorces in all forms of relationships — and have done so since the start of the 19th century — so it reasonably follows that relationships in which both partners are women are more likely to include someone who wishes to exit.

The debate over marriage does not necessarily hinge on its popularity among the eligible, and advocates of gay unions would no doubt assert that “equality” is not a numerical proposition as quickly as their opponents would aver that the very idea is a hopeless category mistake. But it is nonetheless worth noting that there is no particular groundswell — even in states and cities that have both legal gay marriage and significant numbers of homosexuals — and that, when gay couples do decide to get married, they are more likely than their straight equivalents to change their minds later." -- National Review