One would think that the liberal Northeastern states, which include five of the six where marriage equality is legal (including, that is, the federal District of Columbia), would have the highest rate of divorce because they are perceived as more freewheeling. In addition, the main argument against gay marriage has been that it undermines the state of marriage. So it would follow that, in states that have embraced gay marriages, heterosexual marriages are in a perilous state of collapse.
Except that the opposite appears to be true. At first glance, it looks counterintuitive — at least, if you pay attention to the rhetoric of religious conservatives, who frown on divorce because they believe heterosexuals shouldn’t engage in premarital sex and once married, should remain so for the rest of their lives.
Here’s the really surprising part: It’s the Bible belt, the swathe of religious ultra-conservatives that swings from West Virginia down through Dixie that has by far the highest proportion of divorce rates among the general population.
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