non sequiturs

Massachusetts Enjoying Decreasing Divorce Rate Because of Gay Marriage?

We’re not quite ready to say that same-sex marriage is “saving” straight marriage in Massachusetts, but when you put together two pieces of data, you might be able to reach that conclusion. As Rachel Maddow did. As she points out, when gay marriage was legalized there, the divorce rate stood at 2.2 people per 1,000. Now, it’s down to 2.0, giving the state one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. Meanwhile, as we’ve previously noted, the state of Florida currently bans same-sex marriage; Florida also enjoys one of the highest divorce rates in the country.

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  • j

    Probably because most people that are against gay marriage are closet gays anyways, so when their wives find out they go packing. Just an idea.

  • Schteve

    2.0 per 1000 isn’t 2 percent. :)

  • Nick

    gays make everything better!

  • robert

    So much for the right wing religious mantra that same-sex marriage will have an adverse effect on straight marriage and society as a whole, another myth debunked, hooray!

  • M Shane

    The only divorce I’m aware of now is that of a frinend fromMa
    which is a really pain in the ass, since he lives herein Minnesota and has to go through allthe drudgery that goes with divorces going back and forth. Hoprefuly he’ll think again before he goes and invesrtes eventhing on the suspicion of ‘true love’.ccoincedence , right!

    Nonetheless,a friend of mine in the U>K said theat the reason fo the recrease in Civil Partnerships they’ve suddenly exeperienced is the direct consequence of the high divorce rate that has occured once people got boored with the novelty of a new thing which gays are so easily secuced by. e.g. who got into texting the most the fastest-whythe gays.
    Problem with divorce is that it’s far more costly and troublesome.a fad. LOL guys.

  • me

    i think lesbians are doing this. male gays have twice the divorce rate of lesbians in mass. perhaps we didn’t drive the overall rate higher when they drove it down because we don’t marry as much as they do. we must congratulate them and berate ourselves for being so commitment-averse.

  • Nick in Chicago


    Is that a real statistic? All my lesbian friend are always in the craziest, explosively-emotional relationships on the planet.
    Are you sure you haven’t just subconsciously adopted the homophobic notion of gay male promiscuity?

  • schlukitz

    I loved her closing comment in the video.

    “So actually, gay marriage IS a “Defense of Marriage Act”.

  • schlukitz

    @M Shane:

    Your posts are painful to read. I counted over a dozen typos and misspellings.

    It’s called spell check. Look into it.

  • MackMike

    @me: Interesting observation, Me. I have quite a number of friends who are gay men, lesbians, as well as straight folks. The vast majority of my gay male friends are in very long term relationships–mine is one of the newest, at 10 years and going strong. On the other hand, out of all my lesbian friends, only three have maintained relationships of any real longevity; certainly, most are relationship oriented, and desire to maintain steady relationships, but they just haven’t been able to get through some of the rougher moments that every relationship promises to offer. As for my straight friends, most are divorced and remarried, though I do have a few who have maintained an enviable number of years together, but I would say that, interestingly, they all seem to take one another for granted in a way that none of my gay or lesbian friends do in their relationships.

    Sure, I know a number of gay men who haven’t been able to may a go of a committed relationship, I’ve known many who were not interested at all, and though most of my coupled friends suggest that their relatioships are monogomous (mine included), there are a few that are open–but that is what works for them (and one of my closest straight married friends has an open relationship as well, so it is not an arrangement reserved for the GLBT community).

    I’m not suggesting that you don’t know what you’re speaking of, I’m just “introducing” you to folks who you may not have had a chance to know. I am more in love with my husband today than that first day we spied one another at a nearby Starbucks. We endured, work hard through, and grew from the hard times, and have remained monogomous–not because we judge an open relationship in any way, but because neither of us would be capable of sustaining a relationship that was open.

    I tell you all this because I want you to know that we are here, you just don’t have many oppotunities to meet us, because we are not as visible, I suppose. You’re not likely to meet us at a club or a bar, not online, but we are here nonetheless.

  • schlukitz


    Thank you for sharing yourself and your same-sex relationship with the rest of us. Congratulations on your ten years together. It’s nice to hear that you are deeper in love now than you were when you first met each other at Starbucks.

    I and in a six and a half year relationship and I hear what you are saying. We are the invisible. No one sees us, unfortunately.

    And perhaps that may well be the reason so few seem willing to step-up at bat for us. :-(

  • B

    The problem with this article is that it the use of statistics is bogus. You need to look at the distribution of the length of marriages – how many last 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, etc. has some Australian data, with one graph showing the probability of divorce for marriages whose lengths are 0 to 4 years, 5 to 9 years, 10 to 19 years, and 20 to 29 years. The divorce rates are lowest for the shorter marriages and the longest ones. It’s not surprising. For the very long ones, the marriage wouldn’t have lasted that long if the couple wasn’t compatible. For the shortest, they wouldn’t have gotten married in the first place if they were likely to split up almost immediately.

    The result of same-sex marriages being legalized in Massachusetts was a “bubble” in the number of new marriages (due to pent up demand), and a number of those (don’t have the statistics) were marriages between couples who had been together a very long time but had previously not been allowed to get married. It would hardly be surprising that the divorce rate per married couple dropped immediately after same-sex marriages were allowed.

    You might similarly see a spike in the number of divorces for same-sex couples a few years from now, as the length of duration of marriages for those in the “bubble” of new marriages (formed immediately after it was legalized) reaches the range where the probability of a divorce is the highest. That will result in rantings from the religious right wing about how “gays can’t stay married”, and of course that argument would be as bogus as the one suggesting that same-sex marriage decreases the divorce rate.

  • miles

    But in the long term same-sex marriage will increase the divorce rate. The articles logic is bogus. If a lot of people get married at one time, of course the divorce rate will go down. Divorce is so high because of the “faultless” attribute. She tries to push a false notion. She fails miserably.

  • Ron

    There is no cause and effect here. No scientifically verifiable relation.

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