Monday 25 June 2018

Urban/rural divide as 91 gay couples tie the knot

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Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

More than 460 same-sex couples married or entered a civil partnership last year on the back of the yes vote in the marriage equality referendum.

New figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show there were 91 same-sex marriages last year.

This includes 47 male couples and 44 female couples.

Legislation allowing gay and lesbian couples to tie the knot came into affect in mid- November last year.

A further 250 male couples opted into a civil partnership, while another 126 female couples also entered unions.

However, there is a clear rural divide in the figures.

Two-thirds of same sex couples who entered a civil partnership last year are from Dublin, with 78.2pc of LGBT couples residing in Leinster.

Kildare, Meath and Wicklow accounted for a total of 25 of all civil partnerships among gay and lesbian couples last year.

The only constituency to return a no vote in the marriage equality referendum was Roscommon/South Leitrim. No civil partnerships were registered in counties Leitrim or Roscommon last year.

Carlow, North Tipperary, Cavan and Monaghan also saw no civil partnerships registered there.

Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) co-chairperson Kieran Rose said the figures did not represent the actual level of support for gay marriage.

"The disparity in the figures may be just a reflection on where people are living. There are far more people living in Dublin and Cork than other places.

"People who are supportive of lesbians and gay men are there in every county in Ireland.

"One of the fantastic things about the referendum was that it was passed in all counties, except Roscommon/South Leitrim.

"There were yes campaigns in all counties and there was no urban rural divide."

The figures also show a continuing trend of people getting married older in life.

The average age of brides and grooms has increased by more than nine years since 1977.

Men getting married in 2015 were an average of 35.3 years old, compared to 26.2 years in 1977. The average age for women getting married last year was 33.2 years, compared to 24 in 1977.

More than six out of 10 (63.1pc) grooms were older than their brides.

There were 22,025 marriages registered last year, just 20 fewer than in 2014.

Traditional religious ceremonies still account for the highest proportion of marriages in the state.

More than half (56.7pc) of the ceremonies in 2015 were catholic services, while the Church of Ireland accounted for 1.8pc of ceremonies.

Civil services accounted for 6,156 (28pc) of all marriages.

For the fourth year in a row, August is the most popular month to get married in with 26.5pc of all weddings last year in either July or August.

Irish Independent

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