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Swedish lesbians more keen to wed: study

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Swedish lesbians more keen to wed: study
14:48 CEST+02:00
More Swedish lesbians than gay men have taken advantage of rules allowing same-sex couple's to get married, new statistics show.

Since Sweden began allowing same-sex marriages in May 2009, 2,086 people in same-sex relationships have gotten married, while an additional 1,249 people who had previously been in legally registered same-sex parterships converted their legal standing into ”married couple”.

The figures, compiled by Statistics Sweden (SCB) following a request from the TT news agency, also show that more women than men have entered into the “new marriages”, while nearly as many men as women have changed their partnerships to marriage.

Between May 2009 and May 2011, 1,300 women and 786 men in Sweden have entered into same-sex marriages.

During the same period, 657 women and 592 men opted to shift from registered partnerships to marriage.

The fact that the figures include odd numbers stems from the fact that SCB's statistics only include people who are registered residents of Sweden, and thus don't include people who marry someone from outside the country.

While more lesbian women are choosing to get married compared to gay men, the latter appear to have a slight preference for living in registered partnerships.

As of May 31, 2011, there where 1,850 men and 1,744 women living in registered partnerships, according to SCB figures.

The figures represent a substantial drop from December 31, 2008, when 2,670 men and 2,624 women lived in registered partnerships, indicating that increasing numbers of same-sex couples are choosing to be married.

Ulrika Westerlund, head of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), was at a loss to explain why more women than men in same-sex relationships have chosen to get married.

She emphasised, however, the importance that the option of getting married be made available to all couples.

“RFSL's main point when same-sex marriage was implemented was that people got legal secuirty as part of the deal,” she told TT.

“That's what we hope everyone is thinking about – more than the actual wedding.”

A great has happened with the rights of homosexuals in Sweden in the last ten years. Married, same-sex couples have the right to adopt, while both married couples and those in registered partnerships have the right to receive fertility assistance from the Swedish healthcare system.

And in November 2009, the Church of Sweden began allowing same-sex couples to get married in churches. From then through the end of 2011, a total of 166 same-sex church marriages have taken place in Sweden, according to figures from the Church of Sweden.

Most of the marriages have taken place in Stockolm, Västra Götaland, and Skåne counties, home respectively to Sweden's three largest cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö.

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