Court split on trans­gen­der woman’s pen­sion right

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Lon­don

Bri­tain’s Bri­tain’s top top court court said said on Au­glast 10 Wed­nes­dayit was un­ableit was to un­able un­able toto agree agree on on the the case case of of a a trans­gen­der trans­gen­der wom­an­woman whowho waswas de­nied­de­nied a a fe­male pen­sion be­cause she re­fused to di­vorce her wife.

Five Supreme Court judges said the Court of Jus­tice of the Euro­peanUnion must de­cide the case.

The claimant, who is now 68, ap­plied for her state pen­sion at age 60 in 2008, but was re­fused be­cause she did not hold an of­fi­cial “gen­der recog­ni­tion cer­tifi­cate”. She­wastold she would have to wait till 65, the age for men.

Un­der the law at the time, to get a cer­tifi­cate the ap­pli­cant would have had to end her mar­riage to the wife she wed in 1974, when she was a man.

The judges says the claimant is a Chris­tian and “she and her wife con­tin­ued and still con­tinue to live to­gether and wish to re­main mar­ried. For re­li­gious rea­sons, they are un­will­ing to see their mar­riage an­nulled.”

The Supreme Court jus­tices says the Lux­em­bourg-based Euro­pean court would have to de­cide whether, un­der EU law, Bri­tain had the right to in­sist that “a per­son who has changed gen­der must also be un­mar­ried in or­der to qual­ify for a state re­tire­ment pen­sion.”

Bri­tain voted in June to leave the EU but is likely to re­main a mem­ber for sev­eral years while com­plex di­vorce pro­ceed­ings are worked out.

The claimant, iden­ti­fied only as MB, has fought her le­gal bat­tle against the gov­ern­ment for years.

Bri­tain le­gal­ized same-sex mar­riage in 2014, and trans­gen­der peo­ple can now re­ceive recog­ni­tion of their new gen­der while re­main­ing mar­ried.

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