It has been approximately four and a half years since the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage across the country. Prior to that time, conducting research into such relationships to collect meaningful data was difficult.

Gathering information through research and analyzing the results is a process that takes time. On the eve of the fifth anniversary of marriage equality, the Pew Research Center has published some important facts to produce a more detailed picture of same-sex marriage in the United States.

Same-sex couples frequently cite love as one of the most important reasons to marry

Every couple, regardless of type, is likely to cite multiple reasons for getting married. Same-sex couples are almost equally as likely to say that love is a vital reason compared to the general public.

However, twice as many same-sex couples cite gaining legal rights and benefits as a critical reason for getting married compared to the general public. It may be that the general public is more likely to take such rights and benefits for granted than members of a population who did not have access to them for so long.

Same-sex marriage is becoming more prevalent

Prior to the 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, only 38% of cohabitating same-sex couples lived with a spouse. Currently, that percentage has increased to 61%.

There was a surge in same-sex marriages initially following the ruling, but that number has since leveled off, to the point where approximately one in 10 LGBT people in America have gotten married to a spouse of the same sex.

Public support for same-sex marriage is generally strong 

Despite leveling off somewhat following the 2015 ruling, support for same-sex marriage in the United States has remained at approximately 60% since 2017. This is an increase from 37% in 2009. Furthermore, even among members of some political and religious demographics that still tend to oppose it, there have been some relatively significant gains in support.

Research has not yet demonstrated conclusively how the longevity of same-sex marriage compares to that of opposite-sex marriage. However, it does suggest that married couples of any type tend to stay together longer than couples who remain unmarried.