Could Washington have a lower divorce rate because of the state’s same-sex union laws? A new study says yes. Nate Silver has analyzed years of data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and found that over the last five years, states that have instituted a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages have a divorce rate 8 percent higher than states that do not have constitutional bans.

In addition, Massachusetts, the state with the lowest divorce rate nationally, also allows gays to legally marry, while the next three states with the lowest divorce rates do not have constitutional amendments stating that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Silver admits that the pattern shows correlation but not causation – the differences may be caused by other aspects that often separate these states, such as economy, religion, politics, and culture. However, the study is interesting in that it may take away from the argument that gay marriages somehow devalue heterosexual marriages.
Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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