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Just over 1, same-sex marriages took place in the first three months of the new law, official figures have revealed.
The law triggered a rush of couples vying to be the first to tie the knot at midnight, and there were 95 same-sex marriages in the first three days. The figures from the Office for National Statistics ONS are the first official assessment of the popularity of the law change.
Aroundpeople in civil partnerships - which were introduced in - will have the option of converting their union to a marriage from 10 December. The average age of women marrying was 37 and for men it was There were marriages in April, in May and in June. Richard Lane, of the charity Stonewall, said the ificance of the law change went beyond the statistics.
Mr Lane said he expected take-up to increase once couples are able to convert their civil partnerships into marriages. On the day, he said, it was "very traditional", with both families attending. Obviously there was an element of intrigue, but in many ways it was just the same as any other wedding. As for planning the day, he said some products sold on the high street like guest books were still produced with only bride and groom options available, but this was "not the end of the world".
The early uptake of same-sex marriage is lower than that of civil partnerships, the ONS said. It is also below the 1, civil partnerships recorded in the first three months ofthe most recent year available. The government had predicted a combined figure of 6, same-sex marriages and civil partnerships every year. The first same-sex ceremonies in Scotland are expected in October. Northern Ireland has no plans to change its current law which does not allow same sex marriages.
Mark Rimmer, chairman of the Local Registration Services Association, which represents local authority registrars, said he felt the of ceremonies had not been as high as some predicted. Mr Rimmer, who runs the registration service for two councils, Brent and Barnet Married sex Kingston London, described the take-up as "small beer". He added: "It was not gong to be a big thing - it was a good sound bite but safe to say it won't be a whirlwind for local authorities.
But separate figures compiled by the BBC show Westminster, ly the most popular place in the country for civil partnerships, hosted 33 same-sex weddings in the first three months, compared to just six civil partnerships. There were 12 same-sex marriages in Liverpool, 12 in Leicester and 14 in Cardiff but no civil partnerships in Liverpool or Leicester and nine in Cardiff.
The Quakers, who campaigned in favour of same-sex marriage, said they had hosted three same-sex weddings in their meeting houses since the law changed. Date set for civil union conversions.
In pictures: UK's first gay weddings. Gay couple prepare for marriage. Image source, Joseph McCormick. Image source, Getty Images. Replacing civil partnerships? Related Topics.
Same-sex marriage. Published 26 June Published 29 March Published 27 MarchMarried sex Kingston
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