More than one Dutch couple in 100 who marry or register as partners are gay, with male couples outnumbering female couples, the national statistics office reported Monday. The number of same-sex couples in the Netherlands rose sharply over the last 10 years, from 39,000 to 53,000, largely due to the legalization of same-sex marriage in September 2000.
At the beginning of 2005, male couples outnumbered female couples 29,000 to 24,000, the Central Bureau for Statistics said. More than 6,000 men and women, or around 12 percent of all registered gay couples, underwent wedding ceremonies after the Netherlands became the first country in the world to allow gay marriage.
Registered partners have virtually the same rights as married couples, whether they are mixed or same-sex partnerships, according to the AP.
Around 9 percent of the gay couples are raising children, most of them from previous mixed marriages. Only 1 percent of male couples have a child, compared with 18 percent in female households, the bureau said.
A quarter of the gay couples live in the urban centers Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague with the majority in the capital, Amsterdam.