The ECJ has ruled that the refusal by an employer to allow travel
concessions to the person of the same sex even if a worker has a
stable relationship with that person, where such concessions are
allowed to a worker's spouse or to the person of the opposite sex
with whom a worker has a stable relationship outside marriage, does
not constitute discrimination prohibited by EU Law.
The preliminary ruling arose from a proceeding
between Mrs. Grant and South-West Trains, a company operating
railways in the region of Southampton. Mrs. Grant applied for
travel concessions (privileged tickets) for her female partner,
with whom she declared she had had a meaningful relationship for
over two years. South-West Trains refused to allow the benefit on
the ground that for unmarried persons travel concessions could be
granted only for a partner of the opposite sex (Case C-249/96 Grant
v South-West Trains Ltd).