The number of gay civil ceremonies in Scotland increased by 20% compared to the beginning of the year.

The figures released today from the Registrar General for Scotland show that many gay and lesbian couples used the warm summer months to register for civil partnerships.

In the first three months of 2006, 259 (167 male, 92 female) partnerships were registered. This rose to 315 (168 male, 147 female) in the latest quarter (April – June).

The total number of gay ceremonies by the end of June 2006 now stands at 658 (388 male and 270 female).

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force in December 2005 and during that month 84 couples – (53 male and 31 female) registered civil partnerships.

The majority of the increase, was because more female partnerships were registered – up from 92 to 147. The number of men registering increased by just one couple, from 167 to 168.