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U.K. Straight Divorce Rate Outstrips Gay Dissolutions

U.K. Straight Divorce Rate Outstrips Gay Dissolutions


New data from the U.K. may counter stereotypes about the instability of gay relationships, as it indicates same-sex couples in civil partnerships are ending their relationships at half the rate of straight married couples.

Recently released Office of National Statistics figures from 2010 -- the latest available -- showed 2.5% of civil partnerships dissolving in the first four years, while 5.5% of marriages ended in divorce in the same span of time, London's Telegraph reports.

The newspaper adds, however, that the figures may have been distorted because many couples in civil partnerships had already been together for a lengthy period, making them more likely to stay in the relationship.

The U.K. began offering civil partnerships to gay couples in 2005, and the ONS reported that to date 42,778 couples had registered their partnerships in England and Wales, four times the amount projected when the law established such unions. The government is considering upgrading civil partnerships to marriage, and the ONS noted growing support for the move.

The agency also announced that in 2009 and 2010, 499 children were registered as having been born to two women, after a law went into effect allowing same-sex couples to register births. No data was released for gay men who register as parents to children born to surrogate mothers.

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