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Last Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
6,500 gay couples are 'married'
David Furnish and Sir Elton John
David and Sir Elton's is the highest-profile civil partnership so far
More than 6,500 same-sex couples have tied the knot in the four months after laws allowing civil partnerships were brought in.

Westminster, London, was the most popular authority with 238 ceremonies, followed by Brighton and Hove with 236.

Same-sex couples have been able to form a civil partnership in England and Wales since 21 December.

They grant rights in areas such as employment and pensions, but are not officially regarded as marriages.

Figures put Kensington and Chelsea in third place with 194 ceremonies, the General Register Office said.

Out of the 6,516 couples who went through the ceremony, 4,311 were men and 2,205 were women.

The figures also show there was a rush of ceremonies in December with 1,901 partnerships formed, followed by 1,749 in January, 1,518 in February and 1,348 in March.

The Civil Partnership Act came into force on 20 December in Scotland, a day earlier than England and Wales, where nearly 350 couples tied the knot between December and March.


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