Nearly 100,000 same-sex couples have wed since Supreme Court ruling

Rainbow-colored lights shine on the White House after the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage on June 26.

Rainbow-colored lights shine on the White House after the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage on June 26.

(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court provided the answer, a lot of gay Americans have been popping the question.

“Will you marry me?” that is.

About 96,000 gay unions have taken place in the U.S. since June, when the nation’s highest court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutionally guaranteed right to marry. The figure comes from a new estimate by Gallup, based on more than 277,000 polling interviews the firm conducted over the past year.

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That’s probably not enough to constitute a boom for the wedding business -- except, perhaps, in some communities with a high share of gay residents. The U.S. records about 2.1 million weddings a year, according to government statistics.

But the increased number of marriages means that in some states more than half of all same-sex couples living together are now married, a remarkable shift in a country where no state recognized such weddings before 2004. Nationally, the data indicate that among gay and lesbian couples living together the share who are married has increased from 38% before the high court’s decision to 45% now.

Gallup’s surveys asked poll respondents if they were lesbian or gay and, if the respondent was married or living with a partner, whether the spouse or partner was of the same gender.

Just under 4% of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, with about half identifying as bisexual, according to data from the Williams Institute at UCLA law school.

About 780,000 Americans were married to same-sex partners before the high court’s decision, according to Gary J. Gates of the Williams Institute, who analyzed the Gallup data. That number has now risen to about 972,000.

The percentage of gay and lesbian couples who are married has increased in states that banned same-sex marriage before the high court’s decision. But it also increased in states that had already made such marriages legal, indicating that all the attention to marriage caused some couples to tie the knot who had previously held back.

In those more liberal states that had already legalized same-sex marriage, roughly half of all same-sex couples who are living together have now gotten married, the Gallup data indicate.

Twitter: @DavidLauter


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