A transgender woman who was unable to access his pension has been the object of discrimination in the law of the united KINGDOM, the European Court of Justice has found.
The woman known as MB – refused the female state pension at 60 years because she chose not to cancel his wedding.
MB said that she preferred to stay married to his wife “in the sight of God”.
But a court ruled that a person who has changed sex has not to annul the marriage, they are entered into before the change of control, to receive a pension.
Under the UK’s 2004 Gender Recognition Act, trans people acquired the right to officially change their gender by obtaining a gender recognition certificate”.
But the law states that a certificate cannot be issued to a married person who does not have their marriage annulled on the basis of their gender change.
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In the united KINGDOM, women born before 6 April 1950 can claim a state pension at the age of 60 years, whereas men born before 6 December 1953 have to wait until age 65.
MO, who was born male in 1948, married in 1974 and had two children. In 1991, MB has started to live as a woman and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1995, but does not apply for a gender recognition certificate.
When she reached her 60th birthday in May 2008, MB applied for a state pension, but was refused on the basis that, legally, she was still a man, and must therefore wait for the male pension at 65.
MB has disputed the decision and her case went before the UK Supreme Court, where the judges were “divided” on the issue.
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The ECJ concluded that the UK of the cancellation of the marriage, the condition (designed to prevent marriage between people of the same sex) is “unrelated” to the retirement pension scheme.
And he concluded that the laws of the united KINGDOM “constitutes direct discrimination on grounds of sex” and is therefore in breach of European law.
MB lawyers – Jacqueline Mulryne of Arnold & Porter, and Chris Stothers Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – said they were “pleased” with the decision.
“After nearly a decade, MB will eventually be paid his pension and recognized as a woman by the government,” they said in a statement.
“It is a small decision, but it is of great importance in the movement toward more equality and respect.”
The case will return to the Supreme Court to apply the decision, but MB’s lawyers have said they are “hopeful” that the Department of Work and Pensions will apply the decision “without delay”.