Landmark ruling over LGBT pension rights in the UK

The Supreme Court in the UK has made a landmark ruling that a same-sex marriage partner is entitled to the same pension rights as the partner in a heterosexual marriage.

Five judges unanimously decided that if ex-cavalry officer John Walker, 66, dies, his husband will be entitled to a full spouse’s pension.

Chemicals group Innospec, where Mr Walker had worked from 1980 to 2003, had argued that his husband was not entitled to a spouse’s pension as the pension covered a period before December 2005 when civil partnerships became legal in the UK.

Mr Walker and his partner entered into a civil partnership in January 2006, which was later converted into a marriage.

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?