First comes gay love, then comes gay marriage, next comes…divorce? Years after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage, a smaller percentage (10.6%) of gay and lesbian couples are married compared to straight couples (13.6%), a new Gallup poll shows. However, the survey also found that LGBT couples are less likely to divorce that their straight counterparts. Are queer couples just better at fidelity, or are they just better at marriage altogether?
Researchers conclude that gay couples in the United States tend to stay married longer, statistically, for several reasons. One is that they are not racing to get married. Marriage Equality was an uphill battle that is a right still potentially under threat given the current state of politics and anti-gay policy coming from the current administration. So, gay couples tend to take the concept of marriage more to heart having just been granted the right to even marry their partner in the first place just a few short years ago.
Gay couples also want to get married more. The right to wed your loved one is considered a sacred right in western culture, and gay people aren’t taking that right lightly. Many gay couples have been together a long enough time to, before the right to marry, have learned one another’s quirks and bothersome traits enough to know whether or not they want to permanently attach themselves to their significant other or not. This tends to lead to longer lasting marriages because couples aren’t waiting until marriage to get to know their partner.
There are also few instances of the shotgun wedding syndrome. For instance, gay couples aren’t worried about marrying so a baby can have two wedded parents. There hasn’t been a right to wed ever in history until now, so queer couples are getting hitched because they now have a right to and want to do so, versus a feeling as if they had to marry. Gay couples rarely wait until the eve of the wedding night to have sex, so they already know their partner’s kinks, fetishes, and naughty desires that can often lead to a collapse of marriage for straight people down the road who didn’t disclose these sexual interests prior to their wedding day.
Male gay couples, married or not, have open relationships. Surprisingly, this is helping these couples stay together, versus driving them apart. The concept of infidelity is slightly different for gay male couples than their alternatives. Many couples involving gay men acknowledge the reality that having sex with the same partner for the rest of their lives can be boring. So, they open up their relationships to sex with other people while still coming home to one another. Whether or not this will work in the long term is yet to be determined. But, for many gay couples, this branching out is keeping their marriages together.
It could be argued that gay married couples are better at communication than their straight married counterparts. Or it could be a lack of intimacy or infidelity present. Whatever the reasons, gay couples seem to be slaying in yet again in another facet of life: the marriage route.