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Over 15,000 gay unions in the first year

A Government minister has expressed delight at the number of gays and lesbians entering civil partnerships. Deputy Equality Minister Meg Munn called the Civil Partnership Act, which came into force in December 2005, one of the most significant pieces of legislation introduced by the Blair government.

More than 15,000 partnerships were registered up to September 2005, according to The Office of National Statistics.

The government has been surprised at the number of ceremonies being performed.

It was previously thought that it would take time for couples to consider civil partnerships.

Instead, tens of thousands of gay men and women have shown their desire for legal recognition. Ms Munn told The Pink News, “The Civil Partnership Act stands as an example of advancing social justice through removing barriers to basic rights, and in this instance, to those who had been denied them for too long.” There has been support for partnerships across the political spectrum since the first ceremony was performed in Belfast last December.

David Cameron made a positive reference to gay partnerships in his speech to the Tory party conference last year.

Story from The Pink News -