Same-sex marriage numbers settle down

20th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

20 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — The number of same-sex marriages has stabilised since the introduction of gay marriage in the Netherlands five years ago.

20 March 2006

AMSTERDAM — The number of same-sex marriages has stabilised since the introduction of gay marriage in the Netherlands five years ago.

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) said on Monday 1,166 gay and lesbian couples got married in 2005, compared with 1,210 the year before. Demographics professor Jan Latten at the CBS expects approximately 1,200 gay or lesbian marriages in 2006 as the marriage rate so far this year is at the same lvel as this time last year.

Some 2,414 gay or lesbian couples married in 2001 when the Netherlands became the first country in the world to introduce same-sex marriage. There was also a rush to the registry office the following year when 1,838 same-sex couples tied the knot.

"There was an element of hype in 2001. Lots of people who had already been together for 30 or 40 years got married," he said. The numbers peaked in 2002.

"After that it decreased. Everyone asked how this was possible because the opening up of marriage seemed to be so popular. It appears this peak was the 'start-up' effect. The figures in 2004 and 2005 were roughly equal," Latten said.

Latten expects the marriage impulse has stabilised in the gay and lesbian communities and the annual marriage rates will be similar from now on.

Gay people get married less than heterosexuals mainly because gay people less often have children than heterosexuals. "Children are still often the reason for getting married," Latten said.

The divorce figures compiled by the CBS do not differ for heterosexual and same-sex couples. The CBS said it is noteworthy, however, that married lesbians who divorce tend to do so earlier than married gay men.

The total number of marriages - heterosexual and same-sex - has fallen noticeably in the last five years. In 2001 82,091 couples married compared with 73,861 last year.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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