UK Celebrates Three Years of Civil Partnerships

“On December 21st it will be three years since civil partnerships–gay marriages in all but name–were introduced in England and Wales (Scots and Northern Irish registrars began one and two days earlier respectively). The pent-up eagerness of many couples to tie the knot created an early rush: nearly 4,000 people got hitched that December. Candlelit restaurants will be doing brisk business in the next few days. By halfway through this year nearly 60,000 Britons had entered a same-sex union, giving them legal rights virtually identical to those of married couples. In contrast to their American counterparts, most British gays seem relaxed about not having the right to call their partnership a marriage. “It meant we could get the law through sooner. Changing the wording is not really a priority,” says a spokesman for Stonewall, a gay-rights lobby group.”[The Economist]