Harper’s Magazine – Gay Marriage Industry

Had a fascinating conversation this morning with reporter Matt Herman (sp?) at Harper’s Magazine. Harper’s is taking a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at what it would mean to the wedding and divorce business if our nation permitted gay marriages the way Canada does.

Matt is frustrated that he can’t find any reliable estimate of the average cost of divorce. Someone had told him that they guessed the average cost for a divorcing couple to be about $7,000. I told Matt that I don’t know the average cost of divorce but that I know it’s lower than that. And what’s more, if you look at the MEDIAN cost (that is, if you look at the roughly 1.2 million divorces occurring in the U.S. each year and find the point at which 600,000 divorces cost more and 600,000 divorces cost less), the figure would be lower still.

The average couple doesn’t break the bank to get divorced. The average couple is either too poor, or too smart, or both, to fall into that trap. And I guess that’s good news of a sort.

One more little tidbit specific to gay marriages and divorces. My guess is that the average gay or lesbian couple who need to split up would be more inclined to do so quietly and without airing all their dirty laundry in public. That’s strictly a guess on my part, of course, but as my old boss Vernon Owens used to say (back when I had a boss), “I’m not sure I’m right, but I know I’m right.”

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