Life

Numbers show how same-sex marriage has fared in Massachusetts

Linda Bailey-Davies holds a wedding photo of herself with Gloria Bailey-Davies, at right in photo, in their home, in Orleans, Mass. The couple married May 17, 2004, after a 33 year courtship.
Linda Bailey-Davies holds a wedding photo of herself with Gloria Bailey-Davies, at right in photo, in their home, in Orleans, Mass. The couple married May 17, 2004, after a 33 year courtship. Steven Senne, AP

[ Previous ]

DIVORCE

What the statistics fail to reveal is how many of those same-sex weddings have ended in divorce, something the state doesn’t track.

While the overall number of divorces in the state has ticked up in recent years, Massachusetts has maintained one of the lowest overall divorce rates of any state – both before and after gay marriage was legalized.

In 2012, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Massachusetts had a divorce rate of 2.7 per 1,000 of the total population.

Only Illinois and Iowa had lower rates of the 45 states that reported divorce rates. Connecticut tied with Massachusetts.

Even so, same-sex marriages are not immune to the stresses that other marriages face.

The couple at the center of the state’s historic 2004 ruling, Julie and Hillary Goodridge, filed for divorce in 2009.

Article continues below

NEWLYWEDS AND CRITICS

The state has also seen some high-profile same-sex nuptials since 2004, including the 2012 wedding of former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank to his longtime partner, Jim Ready, in a ceremony officiated by then-Gov. Deval Patrick.

More recently, Democratic state Senate President Stan Rosenberg, 65, announced plans to marry his partner, Bryon Hefner, 27. Republican Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, at one time a staunch opponent of gay marriage, will officiate.

Not everyone has cheered. Kris Mineau, president emeritus of the Massachusetts Family Institute, led the fight against same-sex marriage.

His group collected more 120,000 voter signatures to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the state ballot that would have defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Lawmakers blocked the question in 2007.

“I believe it would have changed the course of history had we been able to vote here in Massachusetts,” he said. “I don’t believe we’d be before the Supreme Court now.”

© 2015, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

First same-sex couple to marry in a U.S. territory ties the knot in Guam

Previous article

Ceding to pressure over past anti-gay tweets, Iggy Azalea cancels pride performance

Next article