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Have same-sex marriages harmed traditional marriage?

Here's an interesting fact: The number of divorces in North Carolina fell dramatically after same-sex marriages were legalized. That is an interesting fact because of the way the media and conservatives suggested that legalizing same-sex marriages would hinder the rights of opposite-sex couples and hurt the institution of marriage. After many court battles and lawsuits, attorneys for same-sex marriage and the United States Supreme Court were able to legalize marriage equality throughout the country.

Did it really hurt traditional marriage? Not at all. The news reports that the divorce percentage in the state has dropped because of the rise in same-sex marriages, and in fact, the actual number of straight-couple marriages ending in divorce dropped to 33,797 instead of 36,346, like it was in 2012. That's good news all around for those hoping for more traditional, married families.

It's been a claim of anti-LGBT activists that same-sex marriages would hurt traditional marriages, but the facts show the opposite and even a boost in marriage overall. Some conservatives have reveled in this unexpected turn of events, because they believe more people are being pulled into a traditional and domestic living arrangement, which is the goal of many who once opposed same-sex unions.

North Carolina does have a religious exemption law, which allows officials to turn down performing marriages to which they object. In at least one county, that has forced the county to recruit new magistrates to perform those same-sex marriages. Those same officials may not want to help with a divorce, either. The United States government recognizes your right as a same-sex partner to divorce or marry whom you please; if you have any concerns about discrimination or feel your case is mishandled, then you're in a position to seek out more information about how you can be compensated.

Source: National, "North Carolina divorces dramatically fell after passage of marriage equality," Matthew Clark, Jan. 29, 2016

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