Drop in gay marriages in Lancashire

The latest Office for National Statistics data shows that there were 112 same sex weddings in 2016, compared to 113 the previous year
The latest Office for National Statistics data shows that there were 112 same sex weddings in 2016, compared to 113 the previous year
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Fewer same sex couples are choosing to get married in Lancashire - bucking the nationwide trend.

The latest Office for National Statistics data shows that there were 112 same sex weddings in 2016, compared to 113 the previous year.

That's a fall of one per cent since 2015, one of the only places to see a drop in England and Wales.

Across England, the number of same sex ceremonies has risen by eight per cent over that period.

Stonewall, a charity which fights for LGTBQ people's rights, said there is a lot of work left to do to build a more equal society.

More than 1.5m people marched in London this weekend in the biggest Pride parade ever hosted in the UK, according to organisers.

Same sex marriages have been legal since March 2014, but 2015 was the first calendar year that they were recorded.

In Lancashire, 29 marriages were between men and 83 between women in 2016.

"It’s important to remember that Northern Ireland is the only nation in the UK that doesn’t recognise same sex marriage as a legal union.

"In addition, over 70 countries still criminalise same sex relationships. Our work continues until we live in a world where all people are equal, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation."

When opposite sex couples are included, there were 5,364 marriages in Lancashire in 2016 – two per cent more than in 2015.

Of those, only two per cent were between same-sex couples.

The chief executive of Humanists UK, a charity which promotes non-religious values, Andrew Copson said: "The rising number of same sex marriages in England and Wales is undoubtedly a reflection of the progress made in recent years.

"But we still don't have equality for all – we urgently need legal recognition of same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland and humanist marriages in England and Wales so that more people can have the marriage they deserve and want."

Across England, there were 6,637 same sex marriages in 2016, eight per cent more than in the previous year.

The data does not include same sex civil partnerships which were converted into a marriage.

A spokesman from Stonewall said: "It’s great to see the number of same-sex marriages increasing in England and Wales, but we know there’s so much left to do to create a safer environment for LGTB people."