More women than men in gay marriages

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The Independent Online

The number of women entering into same-sex civil partnerships in the UK outstripped men last year for the first time since legislation paving the way for gay marriage became law in 2005.

Figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that overall the number of gay couples tying the knot appeared to have stabilised, rising slightly on 2009 to 6,385.

But as the popularity of same-sex unions grew so the number of couples separating rose by 44 per cent compared to the previous year. Women now account for nearly six out of 10 of all dissolutions and are twice as likely to separate than men, with 3.3 per cent of all female partnerships ending prematurely.

In 2010 men made up 49 per cent of all civil partnerships compared with 51 per cent of women.

Meanwhile, the average age of those forming partnerships fell from 41.2 in men to 40.6. Women were also getting younger with the average age declining similarly from 38.9 in 2009 to 38.4 last year.

Gino Meriano, who runs the Gay Wedding Show, said the figures confirmed the anecdotal evidence he had been observing in recent years. He said in the past year the value of the gay marriage market had increased from £44m to £51m.