More often than not, the only time gay divorce is mentioned is on the debates as to why gay marriages should be legalized. Many people who are anti gay marriages use divorce as a reason why such marriages should be banned. They use these examples to show how instable gay relationships are. Unfortunately, it is not always true. In fact, gay divorce should be another reason why gay couples should be allowed to marry one another. Because there is a need to create a legal status between gay and lesbian couples, they also need to be given their rights and privileges which marriage is equipped with. When a couple breaks up, they should be given the right to access the courts. But because gay marriages are mostly not yet legalized, there is no existence of gay divorces.
Here’s a look at Gay Divorce Incidents in States Where Gay Marriages are Legal:
Gay Divorces in Massachusetts
Just seven months after gay marriages were legalized in the state of Massachusetts, there have been some couples who sought gay divorce. Because the concept was so unprecedented, couples needed to fill out outdated forms that still referred to both parties as ‘husband’ and ‘wife.’
In the state, the very first gay divorce case documented was in Boston, involving a 39 year old professor and a 33 year old religious educator. The reason for their divorce was cited that the relationship had ‘irretrievably broken down.’ They also stated that their interests had already grown in different directions. Because their marriage was legal, they were able to file for divorce. The settlement included custody of 3 cats, which were decided to live with the professor exclusively.
Another incident of gay divorce was in Middlesex County, involving a 38 year old and 27 year old. The reason for their break up was cited by the older partner as ‘cruel and abusive treatment.’
Gay Divorces in Canada
The very first gay divorce recorded in Canada was filed by one of Ontario’s first gay couples to be wed. After same sex marriages were legalized in Ontario, this couple got married just a week after. Even though they were together for 5 years, their marriage only lasted 5 days.
Because divorce laws were not amended and still referred to both parties as ‘a man and a woman who are married to each other,’ divorce cases were deferred by the court. This was until the legality of gay marriages was ruled by the Canadian Supreme Court.
Why do Gay Couples Divorce?
Even though it seems like gay couples always wait and struggle for a chance to have a legal wedding with their partner, divorce can still happen. This is because they are prone to encounter strong cultural pressures.
While the idea of gay marriages is somewhat a recent one, the divorce rate is not expected to stabilize for a long period of time. However, data has been collected that the gay divorce rate for Dutch lesbian couples were higher compared to gay male couples.