The arrival of same-sex marriage for England and Wales opened up marriage to people who had never married before.
According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2014, of all individuals marrying a same sex partner 85% were forming their first legally recognised partnership compared with 76% for mixed-sex couples.
So of the 5,000 same-sex marriages that year some 4,000 or so were people who had never married before. Suggestions same-sex marriage would damage existing marriages didn’t hold true: these weren’t people leaving mixed-sex marriages but who had never had the chance to marry before.
Nicola Haines, who works at the Vital Statistics Outputs Branch of the Office for National Statistics observed that “Men and women marrying same sex partners, were on average, around 2 years older than those marrying opposite sex partners.”
That suggests that despite social change and greater acceptability of bisexual, lesbian and gay people, it takes longer for us to find one another and settle down in same-sex couples. It might be that over time this will change.