Two same-sex partnerships every day since law change

Two same-sex civil partnerships have taken place in Ireland every day since the unions became legal last year, including ceremonies for 14 people of pensionable age.

Figures from the Office of the Registrar-General revealed by a leading support group show 862 same-sex couples have tied the knot across the country in the 17 months since the first ceremony in Ireland took place.

According to the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen), since Apr 2011 more than 1,700 people have received civil ceremonies, which allow co-habiting, same-sex couples similar rights to those allowed in traditional marriages.

The figures show that while Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Wicklow are the most common locations for the ceremonies, same-sex couples are tying the knot in every county in Ireland.

In addition, despite criticism from some sections of society when legislation allowing the unions was passed into law being linked to older age groups, civil partnerships are taking place across generations.

According to GLEN, couples entering into the union ranged from those aged 20 or younger to pensioners over the age of 70.

The figures show:

* 862 civil partnerships have taken place since April last year, the equivalent of two every day. This includes 528 male couples and 334 female couples;

* Dublin 8 is the most popular area for the unions, with 60 couples tying the knot in the last 17 months;

* Cork City (30 couples) and county (46 couples) have the highest rate, followed by Wicklow (31) and Galway City and county (12 and 17). Among the Ulster counties, Donegal (11 couples) saw the highest number of unions;

* At least one civil partnership has taken place in every county in the Republic since the unions were signed into law;

* The most common age group for those entering the partnerships was 41-50, followed by 31-40. Eleven people who tied the knot were under the age of 20, while 14 were over the age of 70;

* People from 60 other countries — including Australia, the Philippines, Poland, and the US — have taken part in Irish civil marriages.

Glen chairman Kieran Rose said the figures show the civil partnership act has proven to be a “resounding success”, and claimed the rates are further evidence of the need for full same-sex civil marriage legislation to be passed.

“In every county and every city across Ireland, lesbian and gay couples are celebrating their love and commitment in front of family, friends, and communities.

“Based on the success of civil partnerships, Ireland is rapidly evolving to supporting civil marriage as the next step for lesbian and gay couples.

“To move to marriage now and provide full constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people is not a massive legislative leap — it is an incremental step.”

Unlike civil marriage — which allows all couples the same rights as each other — civil partnership allows equal rights in areas such as tax, inheritance, next of kin, social welfare, immigration, pensions, and other issues.

* For further information, contact 01 6728650 or glen.ie.

All-Ireland numbers

Dublin: 457

Cork: 76

Wicklow: 31

Limerick: 31

Galway: 29

Kildare: 29

Meath: 20

Louth: 16

Clare: 15

Waterford: 13

Mayo: 12

Wexford: 12

Kerry: 11

Donegal: 11

Kilkenny: 9

Carlow: 6

Tipperary: 7

Offaly: 5

Longford: 5

Westmeath: 5

Cavan: 5

Sligo: 5

Roscommon: 4

Leitrim: 3

Laois: 3

Monaghan: 2

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