There’s something surprising about the first same-sex marriages
Data reveals that far more female couples have tied the knot since equal marriage was introduced than male.
The first same-sex marriages took place in March 2014 in England and Wales, with Scotland following suit in December. Northern Ireland is yet to introduce same-sex marriage.
Figures covering the period from that date until the end of June this year were published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
There were 7,366 ceremonies in which those not already in a civil partnership tied the knot in the 15 months after the law was introduced in March last year.
Of those, 55% were between female couples and 45% male, the official data showed.
The average age at marriage for same-sex couples was 40 years for men, compared with 37 years for women.
The figures also showed that far fewer couples are entering into civil partnerships since the law was brought in, with the number nearly entirely collapsing.
The ONS noted: From February 2014, the number of civil partnerships formed each month began to fall notably when compared with the same month a year earlier.
“In December 2014, only 58 civil partnerships were formed compared with 314 in December 2013, a fall of 82%.”
In addition, there were 7,732 couples who chose to convert an existing civil partnership into a marriage between December, when they could first do so, and June this year.
They showed that the number of same-sex marriages peaked at 844 in August last year.
“Historically the most popular time for marriages to take place is during the summer months, with ceremonies being less popular in winter,” the ONS said.
“Marriages of same-sex couples are following this seasonal pattern.”
The majority of those who wed a partner of the same gender had never been married or in a civil partnership before.
However, just over 14% of women and 8% of men had been divorced previously.
The ONS said: “The majority, if not all of these previous marriages, will have been with a partner of the opposite sex.”