When gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts, 10,500 same-sex couples rushed to the alter in 2004. Four years later, that number has significantly dropped: According to the most recent data, there were only 867 same-sex marriages in the first eight months of 2007.
Why the downward spiral? The New York Times just attempted to answer that question by speculating that just as in straight marriage, blissful unions aren't always all they're cracked up to be. In fact, Julie and Hillary Goodridge, the lead plaintiffs in the case that paved the way for same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, have since parted ways. (Personally, the article seemed slightly offensive in its incredulous, "Wow, gays experience problems with marriage too." Huh. Go figure.)
For example, one woman interviewed for the story sums it up: "Lesbian and gay couples get divorced for the same reasons that heterosexual couples do," Ms. Kauffman said. "Honestly the only thing that is different is that some people rushed to get married without thinking it through just because they could. It was an incredibly heady historical moment, and some people probably made the decision hastily."
Then there is the idea of bringing the possibility of marriage to the table at all. The aversion to a lifelong commitment for which straight men are notoriously (if not, stereotypically) known for, can just as easily afflict gay men and women too.
Despite set backs, and yes, the realization that "gays, they're just like us!" many of the couples interviewed expressed the advantages that being able to get married provided them in terms of both emotional and financial security, and simply the societal recognition of their relationship. Of course, with California jumping on the bandwagon, if the current statistics on hetero divorce in Hollywood are any indication, perhaps we'll be gulping down same-sex tabloid divorce stories soon as well. And ya know what? That's fine. Because just as everyone should have the right to get married, don't you think we should be able to legally separate as well?