Over 15,000 gay couples tie the knot since same-sex marriage introduced

Lesbian couples have warmly embraced same-sex marriage as new statistics show they are significantly more likely to tie the knot than gay men.

ReutersThe new ONS figures could be interpreted as confirmation that women are more inclined towards marriage than men

Figures released by the office for national statistics (ONS) show that since same-sex marriage was made legal in the UK, over 15,000 same-sex weddings have taken place. This represents less than 5 per cent of the heterosexual marriages that are expected to have taken place over the same period.

Of the same-sex marriages, 55 per cent of the newly weds were lesbian couples. This marks a significant contrast to the situation with civil partnerships where male couples outnumbered female couples almost every year since their introduction in 2005.

Although this gave evidence to the common stereotype that women want to get married more than men, a family lawyer quoted in the Telegraph pointed out that women were also more inclined to break off marriages that were proving difficult.

"Even though it might seem to be a stereotype, more female same-sex couples than males are opting for the greater commitment which marriage is taken to represent," said Gianna Lisiecki-Cunane, a family lawyer with JMW Solicitors.

"However, the history of civil partnerships makes clear that women are also more likely than men to end those relationships which aren't working out.

"Given that married couples must wait a year before they can divorce and the first same-sex marriages only took place in March last year, it is reasonable to assume that we might detect a similar pattern amongst gay married women in the future.

"The figures also indicate that those men who do make a commitment to one another might be more inclined than women to try and work through their problems and regard either a civil partnership or same-sex marriage as being for keeps."

The statistics also show a trend where women are twice as likely to have been in a heterosexual marriage previously. One in seven women in same-sex marriages were divorced compared to one in 13 men.

Just over half of the 15,098 same-sex marriages were conversions from civil partnerships and for just under half, it was the first time of legally acknowledging their relationship.

Interestingly, the take up for same-sex marriage was significantly lower than for civil partnerships when they were first made legal.

In the first three months since same-sex marriage was legalised there were 1,450 marriages. However there were 6,147 civil partnerships in the first three months after they were introduced.

The ONS suggests this difference may be because there was no other option before the introduction of civil partnerships.

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