The number of civil unions on the UK has suffered a dramatic decline now that initial pent-up demand has been satisfied. Numbers of civil unions in 2007 are projected to be down an average of 55 percent on 2006 figures.

More worrying are the high numbers of same-sex couples getting cold feet at the last minute, with more than half backing out.

The UK government predicted there would be around 22,000 same-sex unions by 2010, but that figure was reached in mid-2007.

Numbers are lower in the Czech Republic, with only 487 same-sex couples tying the knot by the end of last year. Registered partnerships have been legal there since July 2006.

In both countries the rate of same-sex divorce is significantly lower than for heterosexual couples.

Meanwhile Oregon has become one of 12 states to pass Domestic Partnership laws with the same protections as married couples, after a judge lifted an injunction blocking the legislation. Domestic Partner licences began to be issued on 4 February.

New York has yet to decide on gay marriage, but in the meantime an appeals court has ruled that a gay couple’s marriage in Canada should be recognised in New York.

The Appellate Division of the NY State Supreme Court on Friday reversed a judge’s ruling in 2006 that Monroe Community College did not have to extend health benefits to an employee’s lesbian partner.

From bnews -“ www.bnews.com.au

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