A trans woman’s claim to receive the female state pension at the age of 60 has been rejected by Belfast’s Court of Appeal, and will have to wait for a male pension until she is aged 65, reports The Belfast Telegraph.
The woman, who cannot be identified, underwent surgery to transition from male to female in 1995 after “beginning life as a women” four years previously. Due to her Christian faith, she decided to remain married “in the sight of God” to her wife of 38 years – with whom she had two children – causing her to lose her right to the pension.
An appeal by the woman against the decision to refuse a female pension, which was made by the Department for Work and Pensions, was rejected by Lord Justice Kay.
Transgender people acquired the right to apply for a full gender recognition certificate in April 2005 under the 2004 Gender Recognition Act. However, a certificate could not be issued to a married person who did not have their marriage annulled on the basis of their gender change.
Appeal judge Lord Justice Maurice Kay told, “The appellant does not wish to have their marriage annulled. She and her wife have lived as a married couple for 38 years and do not wish to change”.
She added, “Accordingly she has not applied for a gender recognition certificate, and so far as the law is concerned she remains a man”.
The appeal judges universally declared the refusal did not breach the principle of equal treatment and was not discriminatory.
Earlier this month, the European Court of Human Rights declared married trans people who lived in countries that did not allow same-sex marriage must divorce if they want their new gender recognised.
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