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article imageHigh Court rules in favor for benefits to Same Sex Couples

By Hotttttie     Mar 1, 2007 in World
High Court Ruling A Partial Victory For Same-Sex Couples and to have the Federal Government grant pension benefits to same-sex widows
the Supreme Court Thursday ruled to allow a year of retroactive compensation ,after Years of a class-action lawsuit was launched calling on the federal government to grant pension benefits to same-sex widows,but not extending back to 1985 .
Thursday the High Court ruled 7-0 against retroactive Canada Pension Plan survivor benefits to gay couples dating back 22 years, but those who've lost their partner will receive compensation dating back 12 months.
They also ruled that the federal government breached equality rights when it granted benefits only to survivors whose partners died after Jan. 1, 1998.
The class-action lawsuit against the government was headed by George Hislop late gay-rights activist when he was denied CPP survivor benefits after his partner of 28 years, Ron Shearer, passed away in 1986. Shearer had contributed to the plan for decades.
Hislop died in October 2005 at the age of 78.
This decision should effect about 1,500 people, or their estates, including Hislop.
A major issue in the case was federal legislation passed in 2000 that granted survivor benefits to same-sex partners, but only if their mate had died after Jan. 1, 1998. Those involved in the class-action claim the feds chose that date arbitrarily.
Gay rights activists said that date should reach back to 1985, when equality rights under the Charter took effect, But the government argued back that this could set a precedent and open the flood gates for a number of other social programs.
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