Figures released by the General Register Office show that over three and half thousand couples formed civil partnerships in England and Wales in the first five weeks since the change in the law.

3,648 couples formed civil partnerships in England and Wales between 21st December 2005 and 31st January 2006. The figures also demonstrate that gay marriage is more popular amongst men (2,150 ceremonies) than women (1,138).

The Civil Partnership Act came into force on 5 December 2005 and enables same-sex couples to obtain legal recognition of their relationship. Couples who register a civil partnership have a new

legal status, that of “civil partner”. The first day that couples could form a civil partnership under normal arrangements in England and Wales was 21 December 2005.

Brighton and Hove was the registration authority where most civil partnerships were formed (126). Second most popular was Westminster (121), followed by Kensington and Chelsea (105).

The top 50 regions are listed below together with the number of ceremonies to have taken place in the period under consideration.

1 Brighton Hove 126

2 Westminster 121

3 Kensington Chelsea 105

4 Hampshire 76

5 Kent 75

6 Richmond 71

7 East Sussex 69

8 Devon 66

9 Islington 64

10 West Sussex 62

11 Cornwall 59

12 Bournemouth 57

13 Wandsworth 56

14 Lambeth 55

15 Norfolk 55

16 Camden 53

17 Surrey 52

18 Hertfordshire 51

19 Leeds 51

20 Manchester 51

21 Hammersmith Fulham 50

22 Oxfordshire 50

23 Suffolk 49

24 Birmingham 48

25 Bristol 46

26 Blackpool 45

27 Lancashire 42

28 Southwark 42

29 Cambridgeshire 41

30 Essex 40

31 Northamptonshire 37

32 Croydon 36

33 North Yorkshire 36

34 Staffordshire 36

35 Cheshire 35

36 Derby 33

37 Derbyshire 32

38 Ealing 32

39 Gloucestershire 32

40 Nottinghamshire 32

41 Haringey 31

42 Worcestershire 31

43 Hackney 29

44 Lincolnshire 28

45 Warwickshire 28

46 Lewisham 27

47 Cumbria 26

48 Sheffield 26

49 Somerset 26

50 Tower Hamlets 26