Thursday, 9 August 2012

23% drop in civil partnerships

Last year, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics, the number of civil partnership ceremonies in the United Kingdom rose from 6,385 in 2010 to 6,795 in 2011, an increase of 6.4%.

However there was a huge variation across the nations that make up the United Kingdom.
  • In England the increase was 6.6%.
  • In Scotland the increase was much higher at 19.1%.
  • Meanwhile in Wales the figure descreased by 6%.
  • In Northern Ireland there was also a decrease but it was much greater at 23.3%.
In Scotland campaigners for 'gay marriage' highlighted the Scottish figure in support of their case.  Meanwhile Scottish newspapers gave extensive coverage to the increase and The Scotsman (1 August) headed its report: 'Same-sex marriage backers hail 20% rise in civil partnerships.'

This raises two questions and having been out of Northern Ireland, on holiday, last week I do not know the answers.  What has been the reaction from the 'gay marriage' lobby in Northern Ireland to the 23.3% decrease and what coverage have newspapers given to this substantial decrease?


  1. Missing your ppoint here Nelson. The non gay community would have far more people together than married or in civil partnerships. Dosnt mean its not happening. I assume the gay community also have large numbers of people in relationships not entering into civil partnerships. The figures fell from 116 to 89 between 2010 and 2011 not a great deal
    but that dosnt mean there is a large shift in gay relationships. Its just means less people decided to formalise relationships. You would need to match the figures to populations of the other areas to get a better idea of scale. Of course you are trying to use this to hold up your view based on the bible that gay relationships are wrong or the fact the papers here perhaps felt it was a non story. Oh and over a 100,000 people have entered civil partnerships a huge increase over what was expected

    1. I was simply making three points (1) the number of civil partnership ceremonies in Northern Ireland dropped significantly (2) this was in contrast to the situation in Great Britain and (3) the press in northern Ireland seem to have ignored it.

      In Scotland the homosexual lobby played up the increase. In Northern Ireland the homsexual lobby appears to have said nothing and the press seem to have ignored it.

  2. Maybe its just not that important in the grand scheme of things. Syria for example, Olympics taking over almost all news. The guardian ran a story on it actually taking the other view Partnerships increased in the UK. Its basically a non story when you look at the misery in other places. People are actually more concerned with paying mortages, waiting 8 hours to be be seen in the Mater and RVH (amazed how recent reprot says all is well there) things that really matter. Be better if the local papers actually did something on the state of the hospitals A and E and perhaps popped into the Mater for example where people are spending hours waiting to be seen on trollys.

    1. There was a lot of coverage of homosexual issues in the media recently because it was Gay Pride week in Belfast. As regards the Guardian, you are right, there was an icnrease across the United Kingdom, as I stated above, but the notable exception was here in Northern Ireland where the number of civil partnership ceremonies dropped by almost a quarter. As to whether it is a non-story or not newspapers in GB certainly reported the increase there, whereas there seemed to be a silence about the decrease here. Indeed there are many other important issues around and I have spent quite a lot of time this week meeting various stakeholders, including representatives of the trade unions and the elderly, about welfare reform, as well as dealing with housing issues and regeneration.

  3. What can't be ignored is your bigotry Nelson.
    You seem fixated on this issue and it's another feature
    of your intolerance.
    What we can't ignore is other people's basic rights or is that not included in civil and religious liberty?

    1. Clare, I merely posted the facts as I read them in a Scottish newspaper. It is for others to draw their conclusions.

  4. And I am making the point that 3 postings on this issue in just over a week illustrates your bigotry and intolerance on this subject.
    Like it or not this is 2012 and gay people have basic human rights of equality.
    This may not necessarily have to take the form of marriage as civil partnerships carry much the same rights but you would deny them those rights in civil partnerships even if you had your way.
    I know many gay people and I haven't the slightest doubt that they didn't choose to be gay. It's not an easy life so no-one would choose it.
    God help us all from religious fundamentalism and bigotry the world over.

    1. Clare, I was simply commenting on things that had already appeared in the press. Moreover I have posted on a wide range of other matters. You cannot deny that it is interesting that here in Northern Ireland the number of civil partnership ceremonies dropped by almost a quarter last year whereas there was an increase elsewhere in the United Kingdom. A decrese of 23.3% is signifciant, whatever significance anyone attaches to it.

  5. Nelson, what is your point? I suspect that in your own very sly and sleeked way you are probably gloating that in NI, thanks to your influence and your prayers, gay-ness is on a bigger decrease than in the rest of the UK. Perhaps you've converted them all to straight Christianity where there are no gay people. Perhaps it's the righteous and godly bigotry of the DUP? Do enlighten us - pleasssse.

  6. Columban, there is no need to suspect anything. I have already stated above the points I wished to highlight.

  7. Nelson having worked in the Stats Branch at DETI I'm sure there would be NI Government Statisticians jumping up and down and any taken so out of context a year on year figure.

    Since their introduction the average for a full year of CPs is 102, so 89 is actually nearer to that average that the 116 of the year before. The 116 of 2010 was the equal highest number in one calendar year, the other being the first year of their introduction.

    Indeed removing 2005-7 as the start up figures where long term partners went through a CP to make it formal, and removing the anomalous figure of 2010 from the curve, you would get an average of 90 meaning last year's figure is bang on the money.

    I could point out that comparing 2008 figures with 2011 Civil Partnership is on the increase in Northern Ireland while marriage is on the decrease. But to do so without looking at the whole trend over time is ridiculous and not something that politicians should be doing.

    So see it all depends where you draw a line and you can get one offs to say whatever distorted version of the truth you want. What does matter is the trend over time and there appears to be no significant chance after the surge in the first couple of years novelty and ability to catch up for lost years, although last year had a significant peak.