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An Oxford University study estimates that of all same-sex couples who had formed a civil partnership in England and Wales by mid-2015, one in eight had converted their partnership to a same-sex marriage by that time.

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The paper published in the journal Family Law, shows there was no rush for same-sex marriages compared with the numbers wanting civil partnerships, which first became available in December 2005 (with the Civil Partnership Act).

Legislation allowed civil partners to convert to marriage from December 2014.  The study says most same-sex marriages in England and Wales have been between couples who 'converted' their civil partnership, although the size of that majority has declined. It adds that although men’s civil partnerships initially outnumbered those of women by two to one, women’s same-sex marriages have outnumbered men’s.

During the first half of 2015, 5,300 couples converted their civil partnership to a marriage, twice the number of same-sex couples who were marrying without first having had a civil partnership (2,500). Almost 15,000 couples entered civil partnerships in the first full year (2006), with numbers declining to around 6,000 each year thereafter, falling further after March 2014 (the month when same-sex marriages were introduced).

Read more on the University website (opens new window)