AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, June 24, 2006 (Zenit.org) - "After the clamor to legalize same-sex marriage, it turns out that not many homosexuals really want it. Following a bitter battle last year, the Spanish government gave homosexuals the right to marry. Since the law took effect last July 3, until May 31, only 1,275 same-sex marriages took place, reported the Madrid daily newspaper ABC last Saturday."
Comparatively, that would add up to a mere 0.6% of the 209,125 marriages contracted in Spain during 2005. Of the total number of same-sex marriages, 923 were between males and 352 among females.
A recent study by the Virginia-based Institute for Marriage and Public Policy did a roundup of same-sex marriage trends. The study, "Demand for Same-Sex Marriage: Evidence from the United States, Canada and Europe," was published April 26.
Maggie Gallagher and Joshua Baker, the authors of the study, warn that precise data is difficult to obtain, but offer statistics on the Dutch experience, Belgium, Canada, and the United States. The Zenit article states that information from newspaper reports and data collected by Gallagher and Baker suggest that the number of same-sex marriages, "after an initial burst, appears to be decreasing with each passing year." Further, it reports that the data contained in Gallagher and Baker's study was supported by Hudson Institute fellow Stanley Kurtz, who argued in National Review Online (June 5, 2006) that statistics from Northern Europe confirm the trend to low levels of same-sex unions. Meanwhile, in welcoming Spain's new ambassador to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI continued to defend the value of marriage between a man and woman as a vital social institution, adding that, during his July visit to the World Meeting of Families in Valencia, Spain, he is looking forward to being able to "celebrate the beauty and fruitfulness of the family founded on marriage, its exalted vocation and indispensable social value."