Number of same-sex marriages dips after post-referendum rush

Civil Registration Service says 75 people applied to have gender legally changed last year

A file image of woman cycling  past a marriage equality mural in the Liberties area of Dublin. Ireland became the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote in May 2015, with 62 per cent voting to pass the referendum. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

A file image of woman cycling past a marriage equality mural in the Liberties area of Dublin. Ireland became the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote in May 2015, with 62 per cent voting to pass the referendum. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

 

The number of same-sex marriages has dropped following an initial spike after the marriage equality referendum in 2015, figures from the Civil Registration Service show.

In the first year same-sex marriage was legal some 1,056 couples officially tied the knot. This fell to 759 in 2017 and down to 664 last year. Same-sex marriages accounted for just over 3 per cent of the 21,052 marriages registered last year.

Ireland became the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote in May 2015, with 62 per cent voting to pass the referendum. Legislation enacting the result came into effect in November of that year.

The figures show that 66 of the same-sex couples who got married last year had been together in civil partnerships beforehand.

Brian Sheehan, co-director of the Yes Equality campaign in the marriage referendum, said there would have been an expected bump in numbers the first year same-sex marriage was legal.

“There would have been people who were waiting an awful long time to get married,” he said, adding that a rate of nearly two same-sex marriages a day was “brilliant to see”.

Unsurprisngly, the number of people entering civil partnerships since the referendum was carrued has dropped significantly, from 500 in 2015 to 75 last year.

Figures show that 75 individuals applied to have their gender legally changed last year and had their decision recorded on a register of gender recognition.

The right to recognise a legal change of gender by self-declaration was introduced in the Gender Recognition Act 2015, following campaigning from transgender and other LGBTQ+ organisations.

Some 56 people applied to have their new gender registered in 2015, which increased to 77 the following year. Two of the 75 people who had their gender change registered last year were under the age of 18.