Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Still No Rush to Gay Marriage, Even Among the Tolerant Dutch

In the ten years since the Netherlands legalized homosexual marriage, only 15,000 couples have actually married.  The Dutch national statistics agency estimates that that is only 20% of homosexual couples in the Netherlands, compared to a marriage rate of about 80% for heterosexual couples.

This confirms what I had estimated based on Eskridge and Spedale's pioneering study of gay marriage rates in Denmark, the first country to legalize homosexual marriage.

There is not a large demand for marriage among homosexuals.  There is a large demand for the right of homosexuals to marry among liberals.

As a practical matter, passing gay marriage laws does not change much in how very many people live. This says to me that those who are worried that gay marriage laws will lead to big changes in American life can rest easier.


Peter Hoh said...

Eighty percent strikes me as a high rate of marriage for couples, but perhaps they are only counting those couples who are cohabiting.

I wonder what the comparable figure would be in the United States.

Victoria Wheeler said...

Will we be receiving any commentary on the Presbyterian Church's decision to allow homosexual ministers in tandem with this line of discussion?

Anonymous said...

Yes Beau, I'm interested in hearing your take on it.

-- A Presbyterian Reader

Anonymous said...

A centrist view on gay "marriage"?

Kerri said...

I wonder, though, if there is not yet a large demand for homosexual marriage because the culture has had to develop in the absence of the right to do so? Queer folks have been around as long as straight folks, but only in recent decades has there ever been any talk of them even being able to think about living openly, let alone get married. I think over time, marriage rates will increase as homosexuality becomes more accepted and normalized.

Gruntled said...

See today's post on the Presbyterian vote.