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GMB Birmingham & West Midlands Region

Liberty client John Walker Wins his five-year legal battle to secure equal pension benefits for his husband.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

GMB Birmingham & West Midland Region welcome this fantastic news!

The Conservative Government has let down our LGBT community by not overturning these discriminatory laws. As they are now working hand in hand with the DUP, we are going to have to keep the fight up if we went equality for the LGBT community across the UK.

The fact is that people should not have to battle for years for rights that should be theirs. Thankfully, the dedicated hard work and campaigning of people like John Walker means that change is possible!

Currently, GMB is campaigning for the right for Gay men to be able to give blood and welcome any member to get involved. If you'd like to help out in the campaign, please let us know!

Also, if you identify as LGBT and wish to join our sub group, please get in touch.

Contact: Rebecca.mitchell@gmb.org.uk

The email regarding this case by Kamaljeet Jandu reads:

This is a landmark case that could change the lives of thousands of couples across the UK.

The Supreme Court has ruled that an exemption in the Equality Act – letting employers exclude same-sex partners from spousal benefits paid into pension funds before December 2005 – is discriminatory and breaches EU equality laws.

From today, companies taking advantage of the exemption will be breaking the law.

This milestone for equal rights would not have been possible without the backing of our members and supporters. Please donate today and help us keep fighting for fairness and equality in the UK.


Discrimination against gay people, pure and simple

John Walker paid into his employer’s pension scheme for more than 20 years before retiring in 2003. He and his husband have been together since 1993 and entered into a civil partnership in January 2006, having registered on the first day it was legally possible to do so. This was later converted into a marriage.

John’s employer, backed by the Department for Work and Pensions, tried to use the Equality Act exemption to argue that – should John die – his husband should not receive the same survivor benefits he would if he were a woman.

This would have left John’s husband with a pension of only a few hundred pounds a year. If he were married to a woman, she would receive £45,000 a year for the rest of her life.

This is discrimination against gay people, pure and simple, and we are delighted the Supreme Court has recognised it for what is was.

Five-year battle

John Walker and Liberty have been fighting for equal pension benefits for five years. We’ve taken John’s case from the Employment Tribunal to the Supreme Court – paving the way for thousands of couples across the UK.

This is how we change the law, change minds and make the country a better, fairer place.

As John said this morning: “Today’s ruling is a victory for basic fairness and decency. Finally my husband and I can get on with enjoying the rest of our lives together.”

Please help us keep fighting for fairness and equality.

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