Welsh people haven't always been known to be the most open-minded. This is especially true when it comes to gay rights, and gay marriage Times are changing, though, and so are attitudes in Wales. This article on Manplay explores in-depth information and Wales gay marriage statistics. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about it right here.
Gay marriage in this British country really gained public attention and discussion in the 21st Century. In September of 2011, Liberal leaders announced that they would hold a meeting in order to discuss how the country could make gay marriage legal, while also nudging legislatures to pass official laws on the same subject. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, had publicly stated that he supported legalizing gay marriage in Wales. This public support was actually applauded by his opposing party, which was a good sign for all supporters of gay marriage.
In March of 2012, the government proposed a consultation that would allow gay marriage in Wales. The caveat to this proposal was that in terms of religious marriages, or ceremonies taking place in a church or religious setting, can still only be between a man and a woman. So gay couples could wed in public areas, like hotels or event centres, they could not have their marriages officiated inside a religious premises. The official response was in December of that same year. The overwhelming majority agreed that gay marriage should be legalized. This major support and feedback encouraged the addition to the proposal that religious organizations be given the option to participate if they choose to. This would excuse any religious officials from accusations of discrimination if they decide that they do not wish to participate. They also announced that independent civilian and organizational groups had approached them in support of the legislation as well. The government had stated to have gay marriage legislation put forth to Parliament early the following year. Things were looking very good for legal gay marriage in Wales at this point.
In December of 2012, the government officially responded to the consultation proposal. Things were in the works behind closed doors within the government though. Discussions were had throughout 2013 regarding gay marriage in Wales. In January of 2013, Parliament was introduced to the Marriage Bill. This bill allowed gay marriage, but made some distinctions in the process. The following month, the bill passed through a second level of Parliament by a landslide. The overwhelming majority of House of Commons members agreed with the bill should pass, and gay marriage should be legalized. The time eventually came for public action. British Parliament put forward a bill to be passed which would legalize gay marriage. This was the Same-Sex Marriage Act 2013, and it went into effect in March of 2014. This included marriage within the country, but also officially recognized marriages that were previously considered civil unions and performed out of country. It would also allow gay couples (who were in registered civil partnerships) to have their status converted to married. Once the Act went into effect, couples were required to wait a minimum of 16 days between the time they registered with the Registrar, and when they had their ceremony. The Marriage Bill passed through several more levels of government before it was announced in December 2013 that gay marriages would be allowed the following March.
Once gay marriage became legally and officially recognized in Wales, gay couples flocked to fulfill their marital desires. This ruling not only benefited gay couples who were dating and wanting to marry, but also gay couples who were already married outside of the country where gay marriage already legal.
Before gay marriage was legal in Wales, these relationships were considered civil unions in an official sense. Most of the men and women in Wales who participated in gay marriage ceremonies since it became legal had never been married before. 91% of gay women had never been married before, and the same went for 79% of males. Interestingly, of those that were married before, women were more likely than men to have had previous relationships end in divorce; 20% of women to 9% of men. Study participants who had been in previous marriages or civil unions that ended with their spouse passing away were unlikely to legally marry again totalled 0.9%.
When it comes to comparing numbers of civil partnerships and gay marriages in Wales,, it's closer than you might think. Gay couples were able to legally register and have their relationships recognized by the governments since 2005. The Civil Partnership Act was passed in that year. Between December 21st and the 23rd, 1,227 civil partnerships were registered. In the first 2 days it was allowed, that many gay couples formalized their relationships with the law, which was a major step. Of these couples, 66% were males, and 44% were females. Comparatively, only 95 gay marriages were registered in Wales in the first three days it was made legal. This could possibly be because gay couples already had formal recognition of their relationships with the government, and didn’t feel that the title of marriage was any different from their current marital status.
In 2014, ONS included gay couples in their survey statistics on marriage in Wales. These surveys looked at the number of gay couples who formalized their relationships legally between March 29th to June 30th 2014. In that time, 1,409 gay marriages were officiated in Wales. 796 of those marriages were same-sex female couples (56%), and 613 were same-sex male couples (44%). This is a big jump from the 95 gay marriages that were performed in the first 3 days after legalization. As time went on though, more and more gay couples were wed. In April, 351 gay couples we married; in May the number was 465, and in June 498 gay marriages took place.
These national surveys not only looked at official numbers of gay couples, but also the average ages in which they were likely to marry. Not surprisingly, the average age for men was typically older than that of women. Gay women were more likely to marry younger ages, between 25 to 29 and 30 to 34. Interestingly, the overall average age that they wed was 37. For men, this number was 38. The largest number of marriages for both men and women occurred between the ages of 30 and 34. 220 men married in this age range, while 110 more women wed during those ages, at 330.
Gay marriage is currently legal in Wales. It has been legal for gay couples to be registered and recognized by law as civil partners since 2005, with the passing of the Civil Partnership Act 2004. A decade later, in 2014, gay marriages became officially legally recognized and protected in Wales. Gay couples wee no longer required to marry strictly in public spaces, and had the option to wed in churches if they wanted. The Marriage Act 2013 also allowed religious parties to opt out of performing or participating in gay marriages if they chose.
The future of Wales gay marriage looks promising. Gay couples have been legally able to be together and recognized by the government since 2005 with the passing of the Civil Partnership Act 2004. This recognition was taken a step further in 2014 when Parliament passed the Marriage Act for same-sex couples.
As of March 2014, gay couples were able to wed legally, and huge numbers of couples have done just that. This Act also had to additional allowances included for gay couples, which included allowing gay couples who had previously been registered as civil partners could convert their status to married if they wished. While this is allowed by the Marriage Act, it is not required. Gay couples who wish to remain in civil partnerships and not convert to married status are still able to do so. If gay couples also wish to register as civil partners, but not get married, this is allowed still as well.
The Government Equalities Office in Wales conducted reviews into the future of legal gay marriages and civil partnerships. Many responding organizations felt that it was way too soon to consider making further changes to the legislation. This opinion was felt about the Civil Partnership Act as well. Many felt that gay couples should have fair and equal access to both options of marital status. As long as there are organizations protecting the rights of gay couples in Wales, and their equal rights to marry, legal marriage will be around for quite some time.