Hundreds of Notts residents form mixed-sex civil partnerships

Hundreds of people in Nottinghamshire have formed mixed-sex civil partnerships since they first became eligible to do so, figures show.

By Patrick Jack
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 12:01 pm

The law has enabled eligible opposite-sex couples to form a civil partnership since December 2019, and the first of these in England and Wales took place on December 31 that year.

Office for National Statistics figures show 123 opposite-sex couples in Nottinghamshire formed civil partnerships in 2020 – alongside one pair on New Year's Eve 2019.

They were among over 7,700 couples to have done so by the end of 2020.

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Mansfield Registration Office.

Previously, only same-sex couples could enter into civil partnerships.

However, in June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled this was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The court allowed heterosexual couple Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage, after they argued the law was discriminatory.

An Equal Civil Partnerships campaign group spokeswoman said the coronavirus pandemic meant 2020 was not the ideal first year for mixed-sex civil partnerships.

She said: “We are encouraged that more than 15,000 people in England and Wales were able to form the legal and life relationship of their choice, ensuring security for themselves during a health crisis.

“Given the problems facing couples in 2020 when civil partnerships were not allowed to go ahead at all – or with so many restrictions that many couples decided to wait – we don’t know how many more civil partnerships might otherwise have been formed.”

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The popularity of same-sex civil partnerships across England and Wales has plummeted since the first legalised gay marriages took place in 2014.

In 2020, just 785 took place – the lowest figure since they were introduced in 2005.

An ONS spokesman said: “There were almost 10 times as many partnerships between opposite-sex couples than same-sex couples in 2020.

“Same-sex civil partnerships in England reached a record low in 2020 and may have been driven by the pandemic restrictions, where registrations services were temporarily suspended.”

There were eight same-sex civil partnerships in Nottinghamshire in 2020 – two between female couples, and six between males.

The total number was in line with the year before – and the lowest since comparable records began in 2008.

Civil partnerships for gay couples in the area peaked in 2009, when there were 79.

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