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7% of same-sex marriages in the State of New York
(Blogmensgo, March 9th, 2012) Of the 34,000 marriages in the State of NewYork since the legalization of gay marriage on July 24, 2011, approximately 7% (2,376) marriages, correspond to unions between same sex couples. This statistic - which runs to 31 January 2012 and does not include the City of New York - comes from the New York Department of Health, but it is certainly lower than reality because 20% of married couples do not specify the sex of their spouse.
The statistics vary greatly from one municipality to another. In the town of Woodstock, for example, a third of marriages involved 50 gay couples most of whom were married on the same day the state legalized marriage between same sex couples. However, the town of Deerpark has formalized only 1 gay marriage out of 19.
Analysts estimate that the official average of 7% is a good figure, and this for two reasons: this statistic includes all the land areas of the state without including the City of New York, which is also the most populated of the State, and it comes just six months after the legalization of marriage between same sex couple (see our article of 30 July 2011).
Opinions differ, however, on at least two points: the level of acceptance of gay marriage in the state and the rate of non-acceptance of gay marriage by homosexuals themselves. In both cases, it is difficult to hazard any figures for lack of specific statistics.
New York in July 2011 was the sixth state with legalized gay marriage, after Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington City (the federal capital is located in the District of Columbia, which not statehood).There are also two other states that have legalized gay marriage in February 2012: Washington State (Feb. 8) and Maryland (Feb. 23, effective perhaps in the fall of 2012). New Jersey could soon become the ninth U.S. state to legalize marriage between same sex couples, provided that the Governor Chris Christie reconsiders the veto against the law passed on 16 and 17 February 2012.
In the State of New York, gay marriage revives the church in Kingston
The legalization of gay marriage in the State of New York manages the affairs of Paul Joffe, who saw his church in Kingston collapse and had even put it up for sale shortly before the promulgation of the law on gay marriage. The pastor of the church immediately converted Wurts Street and celebrated here essentially with all denominations together, including same sex marriages.
Renamed Celebration Wedding Chapel, the church received three to five marriage applications every week and more than half of the Unions are committed same-sex. Candidates must now book a year in advance.
Maryland wants to be a husband-land
Homosexual couples in Maryland did not wait for the legalization of gay marriage in their state to get married. A few miles to Washington was sufficient to formalize their commitment.
In Maryland its still valid because they recognize any union of its nationals legally completed in another state. Including in the city of Washington and the District of Columbia, although these entities are administratively attached to Maryland.
The legalization of gay marriage in Maryland will not take effect until next fall, even though Governor Martin O'Malley promised gay marriage on 1 March 2012. That is it will be up to voters to decide, on the occasion of a referendum in November 2012, the text adopted in February by a short majority in the Senate (25 votes against 22).
Where applicable, the rights of married heterosexual couples in Maryland are aligned with those of heterosexual married couples. Some 240 special benefits reserved for married heterosexuals could well be won at the referendum. This is also why many couples choose to Maryland to marry in another state: in doing so they have the same rights as heterosexual spouses.
Meanwhile the Supreme Court
It is now in the District of Columbia where it has recorded the highest proportion of gay households in the U.S: of about 1000 households, there is on average 18.08 homosexual households, in comparison to 5.81 in Maryland which is ranked at nineteenth place. A final legalization of gay marriage in Maryland probably would bring a higher ranking on this criteria.
In the U.S., the last word is always with the the federal courts and especially the Supreme Court. The highest U.S. court will, sooner or later rule on the issue of marriage between same sex couples. These include, for example, whether the 2008 referendum invalidating gay marriage in California (Proposition 8) or if it was not in accordance with the Federal Constitution. The wise will probably rule on the constitutionality of decisions taken by some States of the Union, in favor of gay marriage.
The hardest part will then be transcribed in the Constitution or the law of each State, the arbitrations of the Supreme Court. The United States remains strongly divided on the issue of marriage between same sex. One half of the population is in favor and the other half oppose, with a nearly identical percentage in each camp. Hence the almost unpredictable polls on gay rights, they do by parliamentary vote or referendum.
This article has been translated from the original on our French blog. To view the original, click here.