It's been almost one year since the tremendous Obergefell v. Hodges decision that found, by a 5-4 vote, that the right to marriage was due to same-sex couples and made gay marriage legal country-wide. And in the past year, the impact of the decision has begun to make itself apparent. There was a lot of debate about what the consequences of the decision would be — would all gay couples want to get married or would domestic partnerships and just co-habitating remain popular? Would gay marriage lead to people marrying dragons? Their favorite TV show? The possibilities were truly endless.
But one year in, we're starting to get an idea of how the decision has changed things — and a new poll from Gallup gives us some answers. They polled adults in all 50 states to get an idea of how Obergefell has influenced marriage rates in states where gay marriage was previously prohibited (and where it was already legal). Perhaps obviously, they found that same-sex marriage rates were up in places where it was prohibited before the Supreme Court decision and that nearly half of cohabiting same-sex couples are now married.
Here's what's changed since Obergefell v. Hodges, because same-sex marriage is up everywhere:
1. Gay Marriage Is Up By 13 Percent In Places Where Gay Marriage Wasn't Legal Before
Before the decision, 26 percent of cohabiting were married, rather than just living together, in states where marriage was prohibited. After the decision 39 percent of people were married with 61 percent just living together, a significant 13-point jump.
2. But It Was Up By 10 Percent Points In States Where It Was Already Legal
Places where it had already been legal had a 10 percent bump in marriage— only three percent shy of the 13 percent jump in places it had been prohibited.
3. About One In 10 Adults Are Now Married To A Same-Sex Spouse
The previous stats looked at percentage living together versus being married, but overall Gallup found that 9.6 percent of LGBT adults are now married to a same-sex spouse. Interestingly, this number has same fairly steady since November, which Gallup says "suggests there was a burst of same-sex marriages in the first few months after the Supreme Court ruling but little additional increase since then."
4. That's Over 120,000 Same-Sex Marriages This Year
In actual numbers, Gallup estimated about 123,000 marriages have taken place since the decision, which is a whole lot of delicious rainbow cakes.
5. And It May Be Only The Beginning
We may not see the full impact of the decision until a lot of queer folk are a bit older and start getting closer to marriage, Gallup explains:
Going forward, as the nation moves further away in time from that June 2015 decision, increases in the same-sex marriage rate may be more evident in the long term rather than in the short term. This is especially likely given that the U.S. LGBT population is decidedly young, and many who one day want to marry a same-sex spouse are not currently at a point in their lives when they are likely to seriously consider marriage.
But so far, the decision has already caused a boost in same-sex marriages and a drop in cohabiting same-sex couples that aren't married. And a whole lot of happy tears at some pretty amazing wedding photos — and what else could you want?
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