More same-sex couples tying knot in Northamptonshire

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More same-sex couples are choosing to tie the knot in Northamptonshire, the latest Office for National Statistics data reveals.

LGTBQ rights campaign groups say the trend is a reflection of the progress made in England in recent years on gay couples’ rights.

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

In Northamptonshire, there were 81 same-sex weddings in 2016, compared to 72 the previous year.

That’s an increase of 13% since 2015.

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

In Northamptonshire, 26 weddings were between men and 55 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 3,247 marriages in Northamptonshire in 2016 – 1% fewer than in 2015.

Of those, only 2% 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, 8% more than in the previous year.

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

A spokesperson from Stonewall, a campaign group fighting for LGTBQ rights, 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.