By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
LONDON, ENGLAND – One British gay man won a landmark legal fight on Wednesday for his husband to receive equal pension benefits given to heterosexual couples, when he dies. This landmark decision has rocked the United Kingdom on both sides and is a clear victory of LGBTQ rights.
The landmark decision not only won over the majority of the court but captured a unanimous decision from the Supreme Court that “John Walker’s husband was entitled to a spouse pension and that the law was discriminatory”.
The Supreme Court’s decision adds Britain to the list of few countries who provide equal access to pension benefits for same-sex couples – Argentina, France and the United States.
“I am absolutely thrilled at today’s ruling, which is a victory for basic fairness and decency,” said Walker said in a statement following his five-year court battle. “Finally this absurd injustice has been consigned to the history books – and my husband and I can now get on with enjoying the rest of our lives together,” said Walker.
Back in 2014, the United Kingdom legalized same-sex marriage however a legal loophole allowed an employer to refuse to pay pension benefits to a former employee’s partner if they were in a gay marriage or civil partnership regardless if they had paid into their pension fund before December 2005.
This meant if Walker had been married to a woman or married a woman in the future, his spouse would receive roughly 45,000 pounds [$58,000 USD] a year after in death beneifts. Walker’s same-sex partner, before the Supreme Court ruling, would have received only 1,000 pounds [$1294.00USD].
John Walker, 65, and his husband have been together since 1993.
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