Married Gay Couples Entitled To Equal Pension Rights, UK Supreme Court Rules

Photo: John Walker

Married gay and lesbian couples are entitled to equal pension rights, the UK Supreme Court has now ruled.

John Walker, the 65-year-old former cavalry officer who won the high court case, wanted to ensure that his husband would enjoy the same pensions rights as married heterosexual couples.

Prior to the ruling, gay men and women were unable to pass along their pensions to a same-sex partner. As such, law dictated that Walker's husband would have been entitled to a mere £500. 

But now, in light of the court ruling, in the event of Walker's passing, his husband would be eligible to claim £41,000 in pension funds.

Mr Walker said:

“I am absolutely thrilled at today’s ruling, which is a victory for basic fairness and decency. 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.

“But it is to our Government’s great shame that it has taken so many years, huge amounts of taxpayers’ money and the UK’s highest court to drag them into the 21st century. In the years since we started this legal challenge, how many people have spent their final days uncertain about whether their loved one would be looked after? How many people have been left unprovided for, having already suffered the loss of their partner?

“What I would like from Theresa May and her ministers today is a formal commitment that this change will stay on the statute books after Brexit.”