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Feminist News


July-09-97

Cherie Blair Represents Lesbian Couple in European Court

Cherie Blair, the wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is representing a lesbian couple in an employment discrimination case against the British government in front of the European Court of Justice. Lisa Grant, 29, a railway booking clerk and her partner Jill Percey, 38, sued the government claiming that its policy of denying lesbians and gay men travel benefits is in violation of the European Union's anti-discrimination laws. Travel benefits are extended to both married and unmarried heterosexual partners of railway workers. Blair commented before the court, "To say that a human being can be penalized for choosing to express their sexual identity, is equivalent to saying that you can discriminate against a pregnant woman because she could have chosen not to become pregnant." Further she commented, "The court should reject such pedantry. The right to human intimacy is a fundamental right and I would suggest, a fundamental human need." The court plans to deliver a preliminary opinion on September 30, 1997 and a final opinion sometime in early 1998.

Media Resources: New York Times- July 9, 1997