Friday, September 4, 2009

Welcome To The Pigpen

My colleague the Rev. Susan Russell has blogged about a report that the divorce rate in Massachusetts has dropped since gay marriages began five years ago.

A blessing that this is happening, whatever the reason. But I doubt it has anything to do with the uniquely mature or conciliatory qualities that gay and lesbian people may be bringing to their marriages.

Here's how you get that statistic. Lots of gay couples got married all of a sudden. Some were longtime, stable couples, ergo fewer divorces. Either way, the marriages are relatively recent, ergo fewer divorces. Both these factors would drive down the state average. Take the same measure in ten or 15 years (or even seven!), or constrain the samples by controlling for marriages' duration, and we shall see.

My guess is that, statistically speaking, gay people will make precisely the same muck of their marriages as straight people.

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