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Sharp increase in civil partnership dissolutions

Sharp increase in civil partnership dissolutions

Atualizado: Terça-feira, 24 Agosto de 2010 as 2:07

In 2009, 351 civil partnerships were dissolved, almost double the number of dissolutions that took place in 2008, which stood at 180. 

Most of the dissolutions occurred in England and Wales, where 327 couples dissolved their civil partnerships in 2009, compared with 24 in Scotland and none in Northern Ireland. 

The increase in dissolutions contrasts with a decrease in the number of couples entering into a civil union. 

Civil partnerships peaked in the first quarter of 2006, at 4,869, as long-standing same-sex couples rushed to take advantage of the change in the law, but the new figures reveal a significant slowdown since then. 

Last year, 6,281 civil partnerships were formed in the UK, a decrease of 12 per cent on 2008 figures. 

Northern Ireland was the only country in the UK to see an increase in the number of civil partnerships, with a small rise in numbers from 86 in 2008 to 96 in 2009. 

More than 40,000 civil partnerships have been formed in the UK since the Civil Partnership Act came into force in December 2005. 

In 2009, the numbers entering into a civil partnership in England, Wales and Scotland equated to less than one in 1,000. 

The Labour Government estimated that around 62,000 civil partnerships would take place in the first five years after the Civil Partnership Act came into being but the latest figures show this to be unlikely. 

Last month, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, Simon Hughes, said he expected gay couples would be entitled to full marriage before the next general election. 

In an interview with Yoosk website, Mr Hughes said it would be “appropriate” for heterosexual and homosexual couples to marry equally and announced plans for a consultation to take civil partnerships to the “next level”. 

He said faith communities would still be allowed to “decide what recognition” they wanted to give same-sex marriages. 

He said: “The state ought to give equality. We’re halfway there. I think we ought to be able to get there in this parliament.”

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