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Why are Nottinghamshire's same-sex couples choosing not to get married?

Fewer same-sex couples are choosing to get married in Nottinghamshire, bucking the trend across England.

The latest Office for National Statistics data shows that there were 75 same-sex weddings in 2016, compared to 95 the previous year.

That's a fall of 21% since 2015, one of the only places to see a drop in England and Wales.

There are fewer same-sex marriages in Nottinghamshire. (13838352)
There are fewer same-sex marriages in Nottinghamshire. (13838352)

Across England, the number of same-sex ceremonies has risen by 8% over this period, but Stonewall – a charity fighting for LGBTQ rights – said there is still a lot of work left to do to build a more equal society.

"It’s important to remember that Northern Ireland is the only nation in the UK that doesn’t recognise same-sex marriage as a legal union," said Stonewall. "In addition, over 70 countries still criminalise same-sex relationships. Our work continues until we live in a world where all people are equal, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation."

Same-sex marriages have been legal since March 2014, but 2015 was the first calendar year that they were recorded. In Nottinghamshire, 24 marriages were between men and 51 between women in 2016.

When opposite-sex couples are included, there were 3,453 marriages in Nottinghamshire in 2016 – 3% fewer than in 2015. Of those, only 2% were between same-sex couples.

The chief executive of Humanists UK, a charity which promotes non-religious values, Andrew Copson said the rising number of sam-sex marriages in England and Wales is "undoubtedly a reflection of the progress" made in recent years.

He said: "But we still don't have equality for all – we urgently need legal recognition of same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland and humanist marriages in England and Wales so that more people can have the marriage they deserve and want."

Across England, there were 6,637 same-sex marriages in 2016, 8% more than in the previous year. The data, however, does not include same-sex civil partnerships which were converted into a marriage.

A spokesperson from Stonewall said: "It’s great to see the number of same-sex marriages increasing in England and Wales, but we know there’s so much left to do to create a safer environment for LGBT people."

Meanwhile, more than 1.5 million people marched in London this weekend in the biggest Pride parade ever hosted in the UK, according to organisers.

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