A growing number of homosexual and lesbian couples in Britain are getting divorced, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Since civil partnerships were allowed for gays in late 2005, nearly 50,000 same-sex couples in the United Kingdom have entered into formal civil partnerships. Roughly 6,400 civil partnerships were recorded last year, about the same number as the prior year.

However, while more gays are uniting, many more are actually splitting up.

ONS data shows that 509 civil partnerships were dissolved across Britain, a 44 percent increase since 2009, when 353 couples broke up.

Overall, since civil partnerships became legal in 2005, about 1.6 percent of gay male relationships have dissolved, while 3.3 percent of lesbians have called it quits.

Meanwhile, gay rights activists are demanding that the laws covering civil partnerships be expanded to encompass full marriage rights.

Ministers of the coalition government are considering doing just that.

However, the Church of England remains opposed to permitting civil partnerships to take place in their buildings, although they are considering reviewing that policy.