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Gender Swap OAP Wins Case To Receive State Pension 5 Years Early

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Christine Timbrell, born in 1941 as Christopher Timbrell, has won her  claim against the Department for Work and Pensions after it refused to pay her the at 60 -- the age at which women born before 5 April 1950 should receive it.

Christine had a in 2000, aged 59. After she turned 60, she asked HM Revenue & Customs to begin paying her state pension. HMRC refused, however, on the ground that since she had not divorced her wife Joy, her gender reassignment was not legally recognised.

Christine protested, particularly since Joy supported her decision to change gender and they continue to live together happily as a married couple -- indeed, they have two children together. But HMRC insisted their hands were tied due to the , which stipulates that the new sex of a married transsexual is only recognised upon or of a pre-op marriage.

She decided to appeal the decision. In March, her barrister, Marie-Eleni Demetriou, argued that the rule under the Gender Recognition Act -- which effectively required Christine to divorce Joy (after 43 years of marriage) for her gender to be recognised -- was a "disproportionate" violation of her right to respect for private and family life enshrined in .

Commenting on her case Christine said:

"We were married by a bishop almost 43 years ago and we are regular churchgoers.

"The Department of Work and Pensions say the remedy is for us to divorce and go into a , but we say that's not the same.

"We are not gay and it would be hypocritical to pretend that we are. That is what we would be doing by entering into a civil partnership."

The three Court of Appeal judges agreed and found that the law's failure to recognise gender change if a married transsexual fails to divorce constitutes unlawful . Consequently, the Department of Work and Pensions must now pay Christine a backdated pension as a woman from her 60th birthday.

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