20,000 marriages for 12 months (or 15,000 for nine months) compares to 536 civil partnerships for nine months.
Our best guess at the moment is that gay people make up somewhere between 2% and 6% of the population.
2% of 15536 is 310, and 6% is 932,
So, if gay couples are entering into civil partnerships roughly in proportion to their representation as part of the total population entering into marriages and civil partnerships (going by the 2003 figures), we would expect to see the figure for nine months being somewhere between 300 and 900 (and it is: 536).
If I can find more up to date figures, I'll adjust the results accordingly.
if you account for the fact that 2003 was a "peek year" for marriages, then that would probably account for it. Although those 9 months of the year being counted for civil partnerships include the august-september peak months.
I suspect (I have no good evidence for this suspicion, but anyway) that fewer gay people are in long-term relationships proportionate to straight people.
Consider, for example that gay people as young as 19 and 20 will have been born at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in Ireland. For many amongst older generations of gay people, their sexuality is something which would have been kept secret and something which many people could not imagine expressing in a way analogous to heterosexual relationships.
For a young gay person now, they probably won't have to think about marrying someone of the opposite sex, or go into the priesthood, or whatever, rather than simply having an open relationship with someone of the same sex. If they want to express themselves sexually they can go on a date rather than hang around a cruising spot. They can live with their partner and even raise a child with that partner, current legal barriers notwithstanding.
But there are whole generations of gay people who never thought their lives might go that way, who might find it difficult to adjust, and who might only now find themselves able to pursue long-term relationships analogous to their heterosexual peers.
I suspect that it will take a couple of years or possibly decades after full legal equality is achieved, before the proportions between homosexual and heterosexual couples in long-term relationships completely align.
Don't forget the dearth of children to rear. Kids keep many straight couples together.
I think it's a fairly modest figure, but it's not zero. These things take time. A lot of people were waiting for years for divorce legislation in Ireland and yet when it came in the figures were very modest for the first number of years, rising every year...I think it will be the same with this...
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