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Gay couples divorce less than straight couples

Same-sex couples have a lower divorce rate than their straight counterparts, new research has suggested.

An analysis of same-sex marriages since its legalisation in two US states found that gay couples divorced at a rate of 5.4 per cent in New Hampshire and 3.6 per cent in Vermont over four years.

This works out at an average of 1.1 per cent annually. Relationships such as civil unions from California, New Jersey, Washington, Wisconsin and Washington DC were also taken into consideration. With that data included, the breakup rate only goes up to 1.6 per cent per year.

By contrast, straight couples in the United States have an annual divorce rate of two per cent.

The research was conducted by the Williams Institute, a research group based at the University of California, Los Angeles which focuses on gay rights and gender recognition. They also found that women make up 64 per cent of all same-sex couples who enter “legal relationships”.

Additionally, the data showed that the number of weddings in New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut increased following the legalisation of gay marriage. Prior to 2013, the numbers had been dropping every year.

These findings are the latest to suggest that legal gay marriage has a positive effect on society. In July, a US TV station claimed that the divorce rate overall was lower in states which allowed gay marriage.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Andrew says:

    As Chou-en Lai said when asked what was the result of the French Revolution: It is too early to say.

    When there are gay marriages which are fifteen, twenty, thirty years old, then you can compare like with like.

    Moreover: most gay marriages are without children, and yes, I know some adopt but I imagine they are the minority. You need to compare gay marriages with childless straight marriages to make the comparison meaningful.

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