The Civil Partnership Act which came into force in December 2005 allowed same-sex couples in the UK to register their relationship for the first time. New joint research by researchers at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the ESRC Centre for Population Change (CPC), published in the current issue of Population Trends, highlights key trends in attitudes towards same-sex partnerships in Britain and examines the characteristics of those entering civil partnerships between 2005 and 2010. The researchers found that the majority of British people now accept same-sex couples as being "rarely wrong" or "not wrong at all", although there remain differences in attitudes towards same-sex partnerships by age and gender. Registration statistics for England and Wales suggest that same-sex civil partnerships are increasingly being taken up by women and at an earlier age. Comparison of civil partnerships with marriages suggests that, on average, men and women are older when they enter a civil partnership and that there are more likely to be greater age differences between the partners entering a civil partnership than for marriage.
The research by Helen Ross (ONS), Karen Gask (ONS) and Ann Berrington (CPC) is published in volume 145 of Population Trends available here.
An ONS podcast of some of key trends is available here.