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Gay civil unions drop by a third in Ireland

Gay civil unions drop by a third in Ireland

The number of gay couples entering into civil partnerships in Ireland has dropped by a third since the unions were legalized last year.

According to the Central Statistics Office, only 120 same-sex couples got hitched in the second quarter of 2012, compared with 184 in the same period last year.

The total of civil partnerships for the first six months of this year was 202.

However, the number of births registered within civil partnerships was up, with four in the second quarter of 2012, two in the first quarter and four in the twelve months of 2011.

The Civil Partnership Act came into effect in Ireland on 1 January 2011. It gives same-sex couples rights and responsibilities similar, but not equal to, civil marriage.

The legislation also provides rights for participants in long-term cohabiting relationships (opposite or same-sex) who have not entered into a civil partnership or marriage.