Gay Marriage Facts & Statistics Tips

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What are the marriage rates for same-sex and opposite sex couples?

Marriage Rates for Opposite Sex and Gay Marriages

Gay marriage hasn't been legal long enough to establish reliable gay marriage statistics, and many statistics don't separate gay marriage from general marriage rates. Marriage rates have been dropping world wide since 1990. In America, the marriage rate dropped from 232,900 in 2000 to 217,800 in 2004.

Gay marriage, having been illegal for so long, takes a sharp rise wherever it is introduced. When San Francisco legalized gay marriage, 4,037 marriage licenses were issued and 3,995 gay couples were married in the several months before the state intervened and voided the marriages. In a review of the names of couples it was found 57 % of the couples were lesbian. Demographic information also showed most of the couples were older and better educated than average newlywed couples, with more than 74% over 35 years old and 69 % holding a college degree.

For the first six months after gay marriage was legalized in the Netherlands, same-sex marriages made up 3.6% of the total number of marriages. The numbers have steadily dropped since then to around 3%, with 2,500 gay couples marrying in 2001, 1,800 in 2002, 1,200 in 2004, and 1,100 in 2005.

In the 2000 census it was found that there were 601,209 committed gay couples in America.

   
Exactly what happened with San Francisco gay marriages?

The San Francisco Gay Marriage Month

In 2004, for one short month, the city of San Francisco approved almost 4000 gay marriages. The city defied state laws in issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples, only 80 of which were not filled within the month.
In the same time period, only just over 100 opposite-sex marriages were performed in the city's jurisdiction.

   
What happened with gay marriage in San Francisco?

San Francisco Gay Weddings

In 2004, for one month the city of San Francisco issued marriage licenses to over 4,000 same-sex couples. Couples travelled from other parts of the US and from other countries to be married. Almost 4000 gay weddings were held before the Supreme Court of California issued a stay preventing any further marriages until a court hearing was held.

One of the more significant gay weddings held was that of David J. Knight, whose father William Knight was author of the proposal to prevent California from recognizing gay marriages from other states. David married his partner of 10 years.

In the same month, 103 opposite sex marriage licenses were issued.

San Francisco intended for the issue to be heard in the lower courts before getting to a Supreme Court level, so that a jury of a wide range of people could hear the city's arguments for gay marriage. The Supreme Court intervened early on in the case, and the issue was decided by the judges on the bench.

San Francisco did not succeed in its attempts, but gay marriage laws were tested by the gay wedding idea. The 3,995 gay weddings held in one month showed how much the citizens of San Francisco supported gay marriage rights.

   
How many children will have gay married parents?

Children of Gay Marriages

The idea of a same-sex wedding has not been legal long enough and in enough countries for statistics to be developed on children of gay marriages, but there are many children living in stable gay households in America and the rest of the world.

In the US , the number of children in gay and lesbian homes was between six and 10 million in 2000. The number of unmarried partner households has increased dramatically in the last ten years, possibly from the establishment of stable gay families. In 1990, 3 million unmarried partnerships existed in America, but by 2000 the number was over 5 million, although this number includes heterosexual couples. In 2005, 4,855,000 households were unmarried heterosexual partnerships which, if the increase was stable, indicates roughly 1.5 million gay partnerships in America today.

One third of lesbian couples and one fifth of gay male couples have children.

   
What countries allow gay marriage and what are their laws?

Requirements of Countries Allowing Gay Marriage

The Netherlands was the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001. However, a gay wedding can only be performed if one partner has Dutch nationality. In Belgium, a same-sex wedding is allowed if at least one of the spouses has lived in the country for a minimum of three months. In Spain, at least one of the partners must be a citizen.

Canada will perform a same-sex marriage without a residency requirement. This does not mean that the marriage will be recognized in the couple's home country. Local authorities should be consulted for information on taxes and other benefits.

   
What are the divorce statistics for gay and heterosexual couples?

Divorce Rates for Gay and Heterosexual Marriages

Gay marriage has not been legalized long enough to establish gay divorce gay marriage statistics. In opposite-sex marriages, divorce rates vary from country to country, although in the West statistics are usually taken to be interchangeable.

In a 2005 study it was found that 60 % of all opposite-sex marriages in the US ended in divorce in the first decade and 80 % in the first 20 years. The divorce rate has been on the decline sine 1980, with 40% of all marriages ending in divorce in 1980, reduced to 31 % by 2002.

The religious views of an area will have an affect on divorce rates. Divorce rates are low in Muslim communities, but are on the rise. In Singapore recently the divorce rate has risen.

The divorce rates of opposite-sex couples may not necessarily give any indication of divorce in gay marriage. Gay couples, having had to struggle to be married, exhibit a strong sense of commitment to each other and to marriage. Different religious and social pressures also apply to gay couples, which may affect divorce rates.

   
Where does the concept of marriage come from?

The History of Marriage

Humankind has always formed family units in order to survive. Marriage was a way of legally formalising the agreements between families when a woman was passed from the protection of her father to her husband.

This agreement was usually accompanied by financial arrangements, sometimes in the form of a dowry given to the husband for his wife's keep. In return, the wife had no rights to property, children, or refusal to engage in sex with her husband. In areas of England , wives were even sold between men in a crude form of divorce.

New York was the first US state to pass a Married Woman's Property Act, entitling women to the ownership of property, sign contracts, and keep wages they earned. In 1978, New York became the first state to outlaw rape in marriage.

Since the early part of the 20th century, marriage has evolved into a formal recognition of emotional commitment. One of the positive gay marriage facts is that, as ideas of gender and possession are different in a gay marriage, the custom will evolve further away from its tradition of ownership.

   
What are the gay marriage laws in American states?

Gay Marriage Laws in American States

Massachusetts is the only state in America that will perform a same-sex wedding. You may travel to Massachusetts to be married – however, be careful to check your local laws and gay marriage facts to make sure that your marriage will be recognised at home. Couples wishing to marry in Massachusetts must file a Notice of Intent to Marry and wait three days. Marriage law in Massachusetts also denies marriage licences to couples whose home states have a ban on gay marriage.

Nineteen states – Alaska, Nevada, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Nebraska, Missouri, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama - have banned gay marriage.

Vermont, California, New Jersey, District of Columbia and Connecticut are the only U.S. states to offer same-sex couples all or some of the state-level rights and benefits of marriage. Hawaii and Maine's domestic partnership and reciprocal benefit laws provide some but not all benefits.

Marriages performed in Canada still need to be recognized in your home state.

   
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