The number of same-sex marriages in Wythe County falls in line with the number statewide, nearly 4 percent, according to statistics from the state registrar’s office in the Virginia Department of Health.
From January 2014 through August of this year, 350 marriages were performed in Wythe County; 13 of them were for same-sex marriages, or 3.7 percent. During the same period statewide, there were 91,879 marriages, including 3,598 same-sex marriages, or 3.9 percent.
Virginia approved same-sex unions in October 2014.
The highest number of same sex marriages in the state occurred in Norfolk, which recorded 320 same-sex unions, out of 4,420, or 7.2 percent. `
In Bland County, no marriage licenses were issued for same-sex couples.
In other areas of Southwest Virginia, Washington County had one of the highest percentages in the state, with 49 same-sex marriages out of 531, or 11.8 percent. The county borders Tennessee, where same-sex unions were not legal until June.
In Smyth County, 4.4 percent of marriages were same-sex unions. In Tazewell, the number was 2.0 percent and in Floyd County, 4.8 percent of marriages were same-sex unions.
James Parrish at Equality Virginia said that the overall numbers are “relatively strong.”
“I think the numbers are strong for Southwest Virginia,” he said.
Parrish said he expects the numbers might dip in the future because many same-sex Virginia couples who wanted to marry waited until it became legal in the state.
“Some people are adamant to marry in the place they call home,” Parrish said. “Getting married in your hometown is important to a lot of people.”