by Rex Wockner
A case before the European Court of Justice seeks spousal employment benefits for same-sex couples in the 27 nations of the European Union.
The case, Jürgen Römer vs. City of Hamburg, argues that an EU anti-discrimination directive requires that employers treat straight and gay couples identically regardless of whether a particular nation allows same-sex marriage or registered same-sex partnerships.
Römer, a retired Hamburg city employee, has been with his partner, Alwin Ulrich, since 1969 and they registered their relationship under Germany’s national same-sex-partnership law in 2001.
Because the couple are not married, Römer receives a smaller pension from the city, his attorneys said.