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Civil partnerships on increase in Bradford
10:00am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
Civil partnerships are on the increase in Bradford – ahead of a review that could see the unions scrapped.
Figures show 38 gay and lesbian couples tied the knot in the city last year, up from 27 in 2011. Of the 38, 28 were female couples, with ten male partnerships.
The figures were released before a 12-week public consultation that could see civil partnerships abolished – or extended to opposite-sex couples.
David Cameron was forced to concede the review in the summer during the furore over the Bill to legalise gay marriages, which will go ahead from next year.
The Prime Minster struck a deal with Labour to save the legislation after Ed Miliband joined Tory rebels in arguing men and women should be allowed civil partnerships.
Such a move would trigger complex and hugely expensive pension and other rights, ministers claimed, costing up to £4bn and forcing a two-year delay.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will launch the consultation in the next few weeks before making a decision in late 2014.
In the summer, a Government source said of the review: “How civil partnerships work and whether they continue to exist... the whole thing will be up for grabs.”
Statistics show that in 2012 the number of civil partnerships fell in Calderdale from 24 to 21 and from 38 to 27 in Kirklees.
But the total rose sharply in Leeds from 69 to 85 and was up across the United Kingdom from 6,795 to 7,037 – a rise of 3.6 per cent.
The number of partnerships dissolved in England and Wales leapt 20 per cent last year to 794 but no figures were provided for each local authority.
Around 60,000 ceremonies have been conducted in the UK since legalisation in 2005.
If civil partnerships are abolished, people who have already entered into them would not have them annulled – but no more would take place.
A DCMS spokesman said: “A 12-week public consultation into the future of civil partnerships will start by the end of this year, which will also look at whether to extend them to opposite-sex couples.”