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11 January 2016

UK civil partnerships on the decline 10 years after first ceremony

The number of people entering into civil partnerships in the UK has fallen dramatically since the introduction of equal marriage in March 2014, figures reveal, reports The Guardian.

The first civil partnership took place in Northern Ireland 10 years ago, on 19 December 2005, while the first ceremonies took place in Scotland on the following day and in England and Wales on 21 December. Between then and the end of 2006, more than 18,000 couples entered into civil partnerships across the UK.

In England and Wales almost 15,000 civil partnerships were celebrated in 2006 alone, the first full-year period when legislation was in place. Following the initial surge, there was an annual average of 6,300 civil partnerships over the next seven years.

However, the popularity of civil partnerships has declined since the introduction of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, under which the first same-sex marriages took place in England and Wales on 29 March 2014.

The effect was immediate – the number of civil partnership unions in England and Wales that month was down 40% compared with the same month in the previous year. In December 2014 just 58 civil partnerships were registered, an 82% drop compared to a year earlier.

In 2014 a total of 1,683 civil partnerships were registered in England and Wales, the lowest level recorded. Conversely, 4,853 same-sex marriages took place.

Read more on this story here.