TIME Research

Gays and Lesbians Have Different Reasons to Get Married, Study Says

gay wedding men marriage ring
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The big differences come down to kids

Same-sex marriage is now legal across the United States, but research on the reasons gays and lesbians get married is sparse. Now, in a recent study published in the journal Demography, a team of researchers looked at earnings and parenting patterns over time among married Swedish couples and found that registered partnership is important to both—but for different reasons.

The researchers looked at and followed Swedish couples who entered into registered partnerships sometime between 1995—the year Sweden approved registered partnerships of same-sex couples—through 2007. (They also analyzed data from 1994 to get a glimpse of life before official partnership.) The 1,381 couples in the study—672 lesbian and 709 gay couples—were entering their first unions and were between the ages of 20 and 64. The authors analyzed demographic data—including annual earnings from the couples, the differences between the earnings of people in the couple and the number of children in each union—for same-sex couples and compared the results to 267,264 heterosexual couples.

Sweden provides an intriguing opportunity to study how policy impacts same-sex marriages; though the country approved registered partnerships of same-sex couples in 1995, it wasn’t until a 2002 law that the country’s registered partners were allowed to jointly adopt children. (Swedish law dictates that married couples can only adopt jointly, thereby making it impossible for one partner to adopt without the other if the two partners are married.)

The authors found that gays and lesbians got married for very different reasons. Most gay couples entered their union without kids, and that number remained close to zero after marriage; the authors concluded that “the main function of registered partnership for gays is resource pooling,” they write in the paper. “For lesbians, on the other hand, the right to joint or step-parent adoption allowed in 2002 raised fertility and possibly entry into partnership.”

In other words, gay couples were more likely to get married to combine incomes and resources; lesbians tended to use marriage as a stepping stool towards creating a family, further emphasized by a spike in lesbians registering for marriage in 2002, the year when joint adoption was made legal.

The decision to have children is likely a large factor responsible for these differences, said Lena Edlund, an associate professor at Columbia University and one of the economists involved with the study. “I think the asymmetry results from a much greater difficulty male couples have in finding children that they can parent jointly,” she said in an e-mail. “It is also possible that male couples have a lower desire for joint children.”

For same-sex couples, adoption laws often lag behind marriage recognition laws—as they do in many states in the United States and did in Sweden. Having kids is especially expensive for gay mean, who need to find an egg and a gestational carrier—a problem lesbian couples don’t have.

Perhaps most intriguing is the role education plays in determining mates. In heterosexual marriages, assortative mating—choosing a partner more like oneself—is often at play, where partners are matched on an education level, according to economist Gary Becker’s A Theory of Marriage. A person with a master’s degree would partner with someone with at least a master’s degree; the theory states that it’s unlikely that this person would find common ground in parenting style and life philosophy with a person with a high school education.

What’s astonishing about the new research is that it showed that lesbian couples are often not as assortatively matched as heterosexual couples, or even gay men. For lesbians, an already thin marriage market means that education might not necessarily play a role in finding a mate so much as finding a partner who is equally as interested—or not—in raising children, Edlund said.

The concept of specialization also seems to play a lesser role in lesbian marriage compared to straight marriages. In a typical heterosexual marriage, the combination of having children and unequal pay means that partners are more likely to specialize, the study notes; the partner who earns less will stay at home with the kids, for example, while the partner who earns more acts as the breadwinner. In the Swedish sample, a higher percentage of lesbian couples remained on the labor force together and, in some instances, having their incomes nearly match after marriage.

The results of the study can only provide insight into the Swedish experience of same-sex parenting, which may differ from that in America, Edlund said. “American individuals and couples have greater access to fertility treatments and sperm banks,” she said. “There are also more American couples who can afford a surrogate mother.” Swedish couples, regardless of orientation, have access to healthcare and childcare options that the American couples don’t necessarily have, which would probably play into labor market options for partners, the study notes. But what can be said for sure is that, like any heterosexual marriage, marriage has consequences far more complex than simply signing a piece of paper.

TIME politics

What It Means When Marriage Is a Contract

Gay Marriage Religious Liberty
Jacquelyn Martin — AP A man holds a U.S. and a rainbow flag outside the Supreme Court in Washington after the court legalized gay marriage nationwide.

The Supreme Court's landmark decision on same-sex marriage has put the issue of love and contracts front and center

Amidst jubilation from some, consternation from others, and against the backdrop of over 26 million rainbow profile pictures on Facebook, the impact of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges granting same-sex couples rights to marry under the Fourteenth Amendment continues to unfold. Perhaps the most-quoted passage from Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion for the majority has been its final paragraph, which concludes: “Their [the petitioners’] hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

If you have studied the history of marriage, however, it’s likely the first sentence of Kennedy’s last paragraph that stands out to you. “In forming a marital union,” he writes, “two people become something greater than once they were.” This formulation of matrimony, while it confirms our contemporary understanding of romantic love, doesn’t reflect the institution’s decidedly complex and unromantic historical legacy, something Martha Ertman, Carole & Hanan Sibel Research Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law, reckons with in Love’s Promises: How Formal and Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families. Her book blends a memoir of her own experiences building a family by contract with her analysis of family law and contracts that underpin adoption, cohabitation, the use reproductive technology, and—most of all—marriage.

These “deep structural transformations” of marriage—as Ertman describes them—“recognize or reflect the fact that it changes over time.” In Love’s Promises, she illustrates the contrast between marriage past and present by comparing the experiences of first ladies Martha Washington and Michelle Obama to show how much the institution has evolved. Far from making “two people something greater than they once were,” for example, 19th-century marriage followed the common-law rule of coverture, which collapsed two people into one person: the husband. Under coverture, a wife was legally invisible after her marriage, in large measure because she could no longer enter into contracts. Not to mention the “breach of promise to marry” suits brought in response to broken engagements; they so clogged the 19th– and early 20th-century legal system that courts were obliged to rule that engagements were not legally binding contracts in order to get relief.

These detrimental but undeniable historical connections between marriage and contracts are a far cry from today’s world, where many people seek to deny any relevance between the two at all. The resistance to making contracts a part of family life—parenthood, cohabitation, and marriage—mystifies Ertman, who views contracts not as cold or calculating but as deeply expressive and potentially beneficial ways of affirming choices and validating contributions within any close relationship. In Love’s Promises, she argues that the law should recognize both the formal relationships codified by contract and those—like less conventional forms of parenthood and cohabitation—tailored informally by what she calls “deals”—arrangements about the more personal back-and-forth about who does what that define each relationship on its own terms.

“Maybe it’s because I teach contracts,” Ertman told Breadwinning and Caregiving Program Director Liza Mundy at a recent event at New America, but “it’s odd in my mind that you share a share a bathroom, you share a bed, and yet you can’t talk about who’s on the lease? There’s something really odd about closing your eyes, crossing your fingers, and hoping it’s all going to be all right.”

“Without contracts, I wouldn’t have a job, but I also wouldn’t have a family,” Ertman—who came out as gay in the 1980s—explained. A co-parenting agreement and some reproductive technology helped her create a family with her son and his father, a close gay male friend. A marriage contract and an amended parenting agreement expanded Ertman’s family to include her wife. At each step along the way, Ertman recalled, “we talked about what we thought and expected and wanted to give and get from this arrangement…I think that’s part of why it’s going well.”

Our collective discomfort with talking in detail about the give-and-take of a relationship and our hesitation to put our expectations in writing can lead to a number of legal complications. Among the most damaging is the unwillingness on the part of individuals and the courts to clarify the stakes of what Ertman calls pair-bond exchanges—in which one member of the relationship does a bigger share of the caregiving in exchange for greater financial support from the other member of the relationship. “I think when we mask the value of homemaking labor that does bad social things,” Ertman cautioned, “because it takes power away from people who are already disempowered.”

Citing stories described in her book, Ertman argued that courts are wrong to treat the caregiving work done for their partners by women and men (everything from childcare to eldercare) as a gift of love; she says it injures us as a culture to assume that “because it’s impossible to put a precise figure on it, we’re going to assume that all that work was basically worth nothing.” Sun Bonds, former wife of Barry Bonds, received no portion of his earnings in their divorce although he presumably benefited from her homemaking labor while they were married. Ertman also brought up the case of Harold, a Florida resident who nursed his partner Loretta on her deathbed with cancer, but because they’d done “everything but the vows,” her family took their joint property after her death. Harold sued, but was not compensated for either the time or his own money (including an inheritance) that he sacrificed for Loretta’s health. Ertman’s question is: do we really want to live in a society that says Harold’s caregiving role has no value?

“My hope in writing Love’s Promises is to make an argument for moral neutrality” around marriage, Ertman told Mundy and the audience. “Instead of coming from nature or God,” she emphasized, “I would say that families and love come in different packages.” Though still processing her reactions to the ruling as both a lesbian and a law professor, Ertman sees the Obergefell decision as to some degree making her book’s goal a reality: “to recognize that marriage is a human institution; it doesn’t come in one shape that fits everybody.”

She marvels at the reactionary language used by the dissenting justices and the ramifications of their worldview on other aspects of gender equality. “If marriage is about one man, one woman, then someone has to be the man, the woman,” she says, dismissing the idea that creating a legal imprimatur for traditional gender roles should—or even could—force adherence to a “one-size-fits-all” approach to family. She worries too that the consequences of Obergefell could be to replace one moral absolute—that homosexuality is unnatural and gays do not deserve constitutional protections—with another—“equally morally charged”—imperative of marriage as an absolute social good, to the exclusion of other kinds of relationships. She does, however, see potential for aging single Baby Boomers to keep institutions like civil unions and domestic partnerships vital as they look to build long-term companionship with fewer entanglements for their adult children.

Her evaluation of the post-Obergefell legal landscape is that it could spark what legal scholar Derrick Bell called “interest convergence” between gays and other groups and create models for future progress for “rights and duties about parenthood” that could include “efforts to recognize more than two parents.” In the arc of history from the 1986 Supreme Court ruling in Bowers v. Hardwick (which upheld the rights of states to make laws criminalizing homosexual encounters) to Obergefell, we can see the law as Ertman does: as a vehicle of expression for who we are and want to be as a society. Ertman sees this arc as evidence of what 19th-century (coverture-era) British jurist and legal historian Sir Henry Maine theorized as law and society’s move “from status to contract”—toward a modern world in which individuals are free to make contracts and form associations according to their own choices.

Jane Greenway Carr is an ACLS Public Fellow and Contributing Editor at New America. She holds a PhD from NYU and is the editor of The Brooklyn Quarterly. Follow her on Twitter @janegreenway.

This piece was originally published in New America’s digital magazine, The Weekly Wonk. Sign up to get it delivered to your inbox each Thursday here, and follow @New America on Twitter.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME justice

Colorado Baker Appeals Ruling Over Same-Sex Wedding Cake

Jack Phillips Wedding Cake
Brennan Linsley—AP Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips decorates a cake inside his store, in Lakewood, Colorado, on March 14, 2010.

"I'll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies. I just don't make cakes for same-sex weddings."

A Colorado baker is appealing a ruling from the state’s Civil Rights Commission that he either make cakes for same-sex weddings or face fines.

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, refused to bake a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins in July of 2012, when the now-married same-sex couple came into his store while planning a reception.

“I’ll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies,” Phillips allegedly told the couple, citing religious beliefs as the reason for his refusal. “I just don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.”

Attorneys representing Phillips, who hasn’t made any wedding cakes since the ruling, argued Tuesday in the Colorado Court of Appeals that he has the right to refuse to make a same-sex wedding cake according to the First Amendment, the Associated Press reports. “Mr. Phillips has the same First Amendment right as the cake artist who doesn’t want to create a Confederate flag cake,” said Jeremy Tedesco, one of Phillips’ attorneys.

Attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union representing Craig and Mullins, meanwhile, say that a victory for Phillips would pave the way for future discrimination.

The case highlights what is quickly becoming a nationwide tug-of-war between gay rights and religious freedom. An Oregon bakery that refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2013 was forced to pay $135,000 in damages last week, while a florist in Washington state faces an ongoing legal battle after refusing to serve a same-sex couple married in 2013.

An attorney representing Mullins and Craig said they would consider taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if Phillips’ appeal succeeds.

TIME Australia

An Australian Politician Says Same-Sex Marriage Would Be Bad for Beef Exports

Question Time Underway In Canberra
Stefan Postles—Getty Images Australian Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce during the house of representatives Question Time on June 17, 2014

Discourse on the topic has officially entered a new realm

In a twist to the gay-marriage debate, Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has argued that legalizing same-sex marriage could hurt his country’s cattle industry.

Joyce, who recently made headlines by threatening to put down Johnny Depp’s dogs when they were brought into the country without quarantine, was speaking on a TV news program produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

During the interview, Joyce said that Southeast Asian countries that import Australian beef see the country as “decadent” and that legalizing same-sex unions would not help with that impression. “When we go there, there are judgments, whether you like it or not, that are made about us,” he said.

Joyce said he was not making a “value judgment” about same-sex marriage but emphasized that he saw marriage as “a process that’s inherently there for the support of … or the prospect of … or the opportunity of children.”

Legislator Warren Entsch has said he plans to introduce a private bill in August to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia.


TIME Soccer

Abby Wambach Kissing Her Wife After Winning the World Cup Will Warm Your Heart

in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada.
Kevin C. Cox—Getty Images U.S. soccer player Abby Wambach embraces her wife Sarah Huffman at FIFA Women's World Cup final at BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, on July 5, 2015

She and her wife Sarah Huffman have been married since 2013

Among the many happy images to come out of the July 5 USA win over Japan in the women’s soccer World Cup final is that of Abby Wambach running to the sidelines to kiss her wife Sarah Huffman in celebration.

Wambach was playing in her fourth (and probably last) World Cup.

The two have been married since 2013, but that bond was not legally recognized in all 50 states until the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage on June 26.

It was an especially powerful moment for Wambach, 35, who holds the record for international goals but who many speculate will retire after a long, successful career.

She has been open about how devastating it would be to have to retire without a World Cup win and took emotional and physical risks to make the championship a reality.

“It’s like love,” she told the New York Times on July 5.

Twitter, at least, saw the moment as a dual victory, and all the sweeter for it, with many fans expressing their approval and realization of the moment’s symbolic importance.

TIME 2016 Election

Exclusive: Republicans in Early Nominating States See Opposition to Gay Rights Fizzle

GOP pollsters gauge attitudes about marriage and discrimination in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada

Republicans in the first four states to weigh in on the GOP presidential nomination are not standing lockstep against gay marriage and largely support measures that protect LGBT people from discrimination, according to a series of GOP polls obtained by TIME.

Those fast-shifting attitudes could offer an opportunity for the Republicans presidential contenders to moderate their stances and better position themselves for a head-to-head contest against the Democratic nominee in 2016. By and large, Americans have shifted toward acceptance of gays marrying, and most candidates reflected that view in reacting to last week’s Supreme Court ruling that expanded marriage to same-sex couples nationwide.

While a few candidates reacted with fiery statements—former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called for civil disobedience and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called for states to pass a constitutional amendment to undo the ruling—likely Republican primary voters greeted it with a collective shrug. In New Hampshire, 55% of likely Republican primary voters said they would accept the Supreme Court’s ruling as the law of the land. In Iowa and Nevada, 46% of Republicans said they agreed. Forty-one percent of Republicans in South Carolina, which is the most conservative of the first four states, said they could accept the court’s ruling.

Of course, that means the majority in three of the first four states remain opposed to same-sex marriage. But the acceptance is still a remarkable development, with roughly half of Republicans willing to move past the same question that drove scores of voters to cast ballots against gay marriage in recent elections. Nationally, the poll found 39% of Republicans support gay marriage and, when the question is asked differently, 43% of Republicans say same-sex couples should have the same rights as straight couples. Only 33% of Republicans in the national survey would back an amendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex marriages in the states.

That is perhaps why some Republicans did not react strongly to the Supreme Court ruling. “While we have differences, it is time for us to move forward together respectfully and as one people,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Americans should “love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments.” Added Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida: “While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law.” None embraced same-sex marriage.

The next question, which is less clear among the Republican hopefuls, is anti-discrimination legislation to finish what the Supreme Court started. While the court ruled that gays and lesbians have the right to wed, many Americans live in places where same-sex couples can face legalized discrimination when it comes to housing, employment or finances.

In Congress, moves are underway to introduce a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill in the coming weeks. According to the same polls, such protections are popular among Republicans—as long as there are provisions that Americans would not have to betray their religious convictions.

Nationally, 59% of Republican voters say there should be laws banning discrimination against gays and lesbians in employment, housing, credit, education and public accommodations, such as hotel stays or restaurant service. Among Republican millennials—young voters—that number reaches 79% support. Twenty-three percent of Republicans surveyed said they would be more likely to support a candidate who endorses a non-discrimination bill.

In the crucial first four states, a majority of Republican voters support anti-discrimination laws as long as there were provisions that would allow, say, a Southern Baptist Church to refuse to marry a same-sex couple. A broad anti-discrimination proposal would have the backing of 67% of New Hampshire Republicans and 61% in Nevada.

The poll results, which are set to be released on Friday, were provided early to TIME. The study was conducted by a panel of respected GOP pollsters who have advised presidential candidates and their campaigns: Alex Gage (Mitt Romney), Jan van Lohuizen (George W. Bush) and Adam Geller (Chris Christie), as well as House Republicans’ survey mavens Brock McCleary and Robert Jones. The poll was funded by Project Right Side, an organization founded by openly gay former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman. The other sponsor was the American Unity Fund, a project backed by billionaire investor Paul Singer, who publicly supports gay rights. Billionaires Seth Klarman, a Republican donor, and Dan Loeb, a Democratic donor, are backers of the groups, as well.

The national survey interviewed 2,000 voters, including 798 Republicans or Republican-leaning voters. Separately, the pollsters also asked 500 registered voters in each of the early nominating states their opinion, including 205 likely Republicans in Iowa, 216 likely Republican in New Hampshire, 232 likely Republicans in South Carolina and 194 likely Republicans in Nevada. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points; it is 4.4 percentage points for the state-specific samples. The surveys were conducted June 9 to 17, in the lead-up to the June 26 ruling.

TIME Chris Christie

Christie Opposes Exemptions for Clerks Who Object to Same-Sex Marriage

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) holds a town hall meeting at the American Legion Dupuis Cross Post 15 July 2, 2015 in Ashland, New Hampshire.
Darren McCollester—2015 Getty Images New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) holds a town hall meeting at the American Legion Dupuis Cross Post 15 July 2, 2015 in Ashland, New Hampshire.

“You took the job and you took the oath."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie broke with many in his party’s social conservative wing Wednesday, telling reporters that government employees who have objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses should not be allowed to opt out.

While many conservatives have called for steps to protect government employees who have objections to Friday’s same-sex marriage ruling from the Supreme Court, Christie said those who work for the government should abide by their oaths.

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” Christie told reporters following a town hall at a lakeside home, noting there are laws that he enforces as governor that he disagrees with. “I’m sure there are individual circumstances that might merit some examination,” he added, “but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

Other Republican presidential candidates have stressed the importance of protecting religious freedom. Fellow GOP presidential candidate Bobby Jindal issued an executive order in May in an attempt to protect those who believe that same-sex unions should not be recognized. His executive counsel released a memo Monday arguing that state employees with objections should be protected.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee took a similar line on Sunday: “If they have a conscientious objection, I think they should be excused.”

When asked about protection for clerks who object to providing same-sex marriage licenses, Christie implied that there could be specific accommodations made for religious exemptions on a case-by-case basis. But overall, he said those trying to opt out should rethink how they are doing their jobs.

“You took the job and you took the oath,” he said. “When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it.”

TIME celebrities

Cynthia Nixon: Don’t Get Complacent About LGBT Rights

The Sex and the City star argues that there's still work to be done

Cynthia Nixon, star of Sex in the City, wrote an op-ed in Variety urging LGBT activists to continue to fight for marriage equality.

Even though the Friday Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage in every state may seem like the ultimate victory, Nixon argued in the op-ed that the work is not done yet. The reason the LGBT movement has come so far is constant perseverance both in the face of adversity and after achieving community goals, she said.

“Equality proponents knew they were going to win, but didn’t take it for granted for a moment; they worked, they organized, leaving no stone unturned. And to have the vote come from the general population was absolutely game-changing,” the star wrote.

“The important thing to remember going forward, though, is no outcome is ever 100% assured. We have to keep organizing like our lives depend on it.”

Nixon has been active in the fight for marriage equality and married a woman herself in 2012. But she has also drawn controversy: in 2012 she came under fire for saying that “homosexuality can be a choice” and was for her in an interview with the New York Times Magazine. Other LGBT celebrities like Perez Hilton fired back that millions of people around the world were born gay.


TIME celebrity

George Takei Takes Down Donald Trump’s Definition of ‘Traditional Marriage’

George Takei at the 69th Annual Tony Awards in New York City on June 7, 2015.
Mark Sagliocco—Getty Images George Takei at the 69th Annual Tony Awards in New York City on June 7, 2015.

Takei and Trump took their marriage equality debate to a lunch table

Donald Trump likes to say he’s “for traditional marriage”—but George Takei thinks there are some holes in Trump’s argument.

The Star Trek actor and Trump worked together back in 2011 when Takei appeared on season 5 of The Celebrity Apprentice, and during a press conference for the show, Takei—an LGBT activist—challenged Trump to discuss marriage equality over lunch. And to Takei’s surprise, Trump took him up on the offer.

Takei went on MSNBC’s The Last Word to tell host Lawrence O’Donnell how that lunch went, and apparently, it involved Trump holding onto his opinion—but also recounting recently going to his friends’ gay wedding.

“He said, ‘You know what, George, I just came from a gay marriage,’” Takei said. “And he told me, ‘They are good friends of mine, it was a beautiful marriage. They’re wonderful friends.’ And I said, ‘Then why can’t you support marriage equality? You go to weddings of same-sex couples.’ And he said, ‘Well, I’m for traditional marriage.’”

Takei said they ultimately “agreed to disagree,” but he thinks Trump’s stance could change: “I think he’s a businessman,” Takei said. “I think he’s capable of saying anything that will be good for business or in whatever situation he should find himself in.” Plus, Takei is suspicious of Trump’s idea of what “traditional marriage” is—especially seeing as Trump has been married three times.

“That is not traditional,” Takei said. “And I approve of his three-time marriage, because you want to find the person that you love … I think Donald Trump’s interpretation of marriage is something that he really himself doesn’t really believe in.”

Watch the whole interview here.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME relationships

Jimmy Kimmel Asked Little Kids What They Think About Gay Marriage

Hot debate for minds of all ages

Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to sanction marriage equality in all 50 states, Jimmy Kimmel turned to one important group to hear their thoughts on the subject: kids.

Responding to those who think explaining the change in marriage laws would be difficult, Kimmel sent a producer and cameraperson out into the field for a Jimmy Kimmel Live segment to find out what kids know about marriage equality. For the most part, the kids Live found had no problem understanding marriage in any form. But they certainly weren’t lacking for opinions on the institution of marriage itself.

Some think there’s a best time of day to marry, others are planning to wait until 30 before they wed, and one thinks it’s fiscally irresponsible to marry at all. But even if it’s not for them, all of the kids seem to agree on one thing: everyone should have the right to marry… as long as they’re old enough, of course.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

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