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In the first nine months since the United Kingdom civil partnership law has taken effect, 15,672 gay and lesbian couples have been united, according to the BBC.
Of the partnerships, which give same-sex couples myriad rights in fields such as employment and pensions, 84% took place in England while Northern Ireland claimed only 1% of the total. Male couples have been granted the majority of partnerships, making up more than half in each part of the United Kingdom.
Peter Tatchell, a member of the U.K. queer activist group OutRage! has urged the finance minister, Gordon Brown, to protect the benefit rights of same-sex couples who have opted not to enter into a partnership. He insists the approval of the Partnership Act allowed the government to remove benefits from thousands of same-sex couples who have not entered into an official union. (The Advocate)