Canada Supreme Court ruled ban on benefits for same-sex couples unconstitutional

On March 1, 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada held that a decision by the Canadian Parliament in 2000 to deny retroactive survivor benefits to same-sex couples was unconstitutional discrimination under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That legislation recognized legal rights for same-sex couples, but it did not grant survivor benefits to couples if a partner had died before 1998. Over 10,000 plaintiffs initiated the class action lawsuit, and the Supreme Court heard the case in May 2006 following a lower court ruling that found same-sex couples eligible for pensions under the Canada Pension Plan, but not for retroactive survivor benefits.


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