Gay marriages 15 years on

gay marriages celebrated with rainbow amsterdam
Gay marriages celebrated with rainbow I amsterdam logo in front of the city hall.

On the 1st of April we will celebrate 15 years of gay marriages, or more properly equal marriage rights, in Amsterdam. On April 1st 2001 it was in Amsterdam that the first same sex couples anywhere in the world could get married. The city celebrates this with a special edition of it’s marketing logo in the rainbow colors and a day long projection of pictures of gay marriage on the city hall.

Gay and lesbian marriages so far

The number crunchers of the national statistics bureau (CBS) made their own contribution to the festivities. They offered an insight in the how the marriages have fared. Every year about 600 gay couples and about 700 lesbian couples get married in The Netherlands. Looking at those couples who got married in 2005, they concluded that 30% of the lesbian marriages have ended in divorce. This compares to a 18% divorce rate at the straight marriages and 15% at gay marriages.

These statistics caused a minor debate in the social media, when the president of the Dutch LGBTQ organization COC tried to give a first hand explanation for this higher divorce rate among lesbian couples. She connected that with the still unequal position of (lesbian) women in  The Netherlands. Many people disagreed with here, pointing out that gay men were just as vulnerable to abuse. At the end of the day most agreed though, that these results might be the start of an interesting study.

Gay marriages have bigger age gap

Further statistic tidbits show that gay men get married at an on average higher age the straight men: 43 years compared to 37. Lesbian women are on average 39 years when they get married, straight women 34 years.. Of all the gay men who got married, almost 20 percent was 55 years of older.

In a marriage between two men the average age gap is 7,5  years, with in a quarter of the marriages this gap being bigger than 10 years. In lesbian marriages the average age gap was 4,6 years and with straight marriages 4,3 years.

Amsterdam city of love?

In celebration of the 15th year anniversary, local politicians have proposed to make Amsterdam a city of love. They want to make it possible for foreign gay and lesbian couples  to seal their relationship in Amsterdam and get married in this city. The mayor is currently in talks with the national government to make this possible. Who knows, maybe you can shortly elope to Amsterdam to marry the love of your life instead of going to Las Vegas.


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