Gays divorce rate may hew close to heterosexuals

first_imgSame-sex marriage nears legalizationWashington dissolutionsWashington state domestic partnership dissolutions from 2007 to 2010.2007: 2172008 : 1122009 : 312010 : 15Clark County dissolutionsDomestic partnership dissolutions in Clark County, 2007-2010Amboy: 0Camas: 1Vancouver: 5Washougal: 1Battle Ground: 0La Center: 0Yacolt: 0Source: Washington Secretary of StateAs heterosexual couples prepare to share state marriage rights with gays and lesbians, they also offer a dismal legacy of divorce.Nationwide, about 43 percent of first marriages, 60 percent of second marriages and 75 percent of third marriages end in divorce, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.So what is the divorce outlook for the state’s future same-sex marriages?“The rates are likely similar because the same-sex couples entering those other legal statuses are as committed to their relationships as married different-sex couples,” said Lee Badget, research director of Williams Institute on SexualOrientation Law & Public Policy at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law. Badget, also an economics professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst, is co-author of a November 2011 study that examined same-sex relationship recognition patterns across the nation.One indicator of a future same-sex divorce rate is to look at the number of the state’s domestic partnerships that have been dissolved, Badget said.In Washington, about 4 percent of the 9,282 domestic partnerships formed between July 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2010, have been dissolved, according to an analysis by The Columbian. (That number includes opposite-sex couples 62 and older). To draw a comparison, out of 147,250 Washington marriages during that same time period, 9,782 of those couples, or 6.6 percent, are now divorced, according to epidemiologist Staci Hoff at the state Department of Health’s Marriage and Divorce Vital Statistics division.last_img

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