The Skinny on DP Dissolution Rates in Washington State
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Same-sex divorce…is 8 times higher among homosexual men, and 300 times higher among homosexual women.
Pidgeon said these numbers were from a study looking at France, but there can be no study on the divorce rate of same-sex couples in France because same-sex marriage is not legal in France. Similar wild and unsubstantiated numbers have been fabricated by many anti-family activists. Larry Stickney has posted a video of Pidgeon speaking this lie on the Protect Marriage Washington website (they’re the Referendum 71 people).
I decided to check the actual, meaningful numbers here in Washington. Not same-sex divorce rate, because as in France, same-sex couples can’t get married in Washington. But domestic partnership dissolution rates. After reviewing the numbers, I can see why Pidgeon resorted to make-believe; reality just doesn’t jive with his apparent need to vilify gay families.Before we get into the DP dissolution numbers for Washington state, let’s just pause to see how the local professional heterosexuals are faring. Larry Stickney has a 67% personal divorce rate (3 marriages, 2 divorces) and Rep. Matt Shea a 100% divorce rate (1 marriage, 1 divorce). Both men are on the Protect Marriage Washington Board of Directors. Both men say that marriage is “one man and one woman for life”, and use an ideal that they personally failed to attain as some sort of weird rationale for repealing the domestic partnership law.
And now to the numbers. The Washington Secretary of State keeps track of two numbers: the number of DP registrations, and the number of DP terminations. DPs were first available (in a much-reduced form) on July 23, 2007. As of June 2, 2009, there had been 5,475 DP registrations and 137 terminations. This means that the DP termination rate is a piddly 2.5%
I’m not going to even try to compare this to heterosexual divorce rates because it’s an apples/oranges thing, and heterosexual divorce rates are calculated on a percentage population basis. But most importanly, there are some important reasons besides a broken relationship that a DP’d couple may need to terminate the DP that isn’t in the heterosexual marriage equation. For example, a same-sex couple may terminate their DP upon moving to a state or country where they can obtain bona fide marriage. Or, an elderly different-sex couple may terminate their DP if they initially got one when the DP was little more than a power of attorney and health care proxy. Not all heterosexual couples may choose to stay in the DP system as DPs become more robust and bind them more tightly in a legal sense.
Suffice it to say that regardless of the fake stats spewed by Stephen Pidgeon et al., the reality in Washington state is that over 97% of us with DPs are stickin’ to ‘em. Too bad the professional heterosexuals can’t say the same for their cohort.
Cross-posted at Washblog.