Council of Europe slams Britain for sex discrimination

28th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

A British lesbian who accused Britain of sexual discrimination has won her case Tuesday at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The woman, J.M., had been paying her former husband maintenance allowance for the care of their two children following their divorce.

Since 1998 she had been living with another woman in an intimate relationship.

The plaintiff claimed that the British authorities had discriminated against her on the basis of her sexual orientation when they reviewed her maintenance allowance in 2001 and did not grant her any reduction in costs.

If the absent parent had entered a new heterosexual relationship, regulations allowed for a reduction in amount, but the law at the time did not take into account same-sex partnerships.

"The state discriminated against (J.M.) on the basis of her sexual orientation by failing to recognise the relationship she entered into after her divorce when setting the level of child maintenance," the court said.

The court allocated the plaintiff 3,000 euros (just over 4,000 dollars) compensation.

© 2010 AFP

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