Fewer UK gays and lesbians tie the knot in 2008

Same-sex couples formed 7,169 civil partnerships — 3,824 male and 3,345 female — in the United Kingdom in 2008, a decline of 18 percent compared with 2007, the Office for National Statistics reports.

There were 180 civil-partnership dissolutions in 2008 — 64 between males and 116 between females.

The number of civil partnerships fell by 18 percent in England, 4 percent in Wales, 24 percent in Scotland and 23 percent in Northern Ireland.

The London borough of Westminster and the Brighton and Hove unitary authority saw the largest numbers of civil-partnership registrations in 2008.

More couples tied the knot between April and September than in other months, the agency said.

A total of 33,956 partnerships were formed between December 2005, when the Civil Partnership Act came into force, and the end of 2008.

Civil partnerships grant the same rights and obligations as a marriage.

By Rex Wockner


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