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(Extracts from CHRR)

Discriminatory auto insurance rates allowed for bona fide reasons

Zurich Insurance Co. v. Ontario (Human Rights Comm.)

The majority of the Supreme Court of Canada finds that Zurich Insurance did not discriminate against Michael Bates contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code by charging him higher premiums for automobile insurance because of his age, sex, and marital status.

In 1983 Michael Bates alleged that he was discriminated against because Zurich Insurance charged him higher premiums for his automobile insurance than a young, single, female driver with the same driving record, or than drivers over age 25. He alleged that the rate classification system discriminated by grouping drivers by age, sex, and marital status and determining their premiums based on these factors.

The majority of the Supreme Court of Canada finds that charging higher automobile insurance premiums to young, unmarried, male drivers is prima facie discriminatory and contravenes the Ontario Human Rights Code. However, the issue in this appeal is whether that discrimination is permitted by virtue of s. 21 of the Code. Section 21 states that the prohibitions against discrimination are not infringed where a contract of automobile insurance differentiates on reasonable and bona fide grounds because of age, sex, marital status, family status or handicap.

The Board of Inquiry which originally heard Michael Bates' complaint concluded that Mr. Bates was discriminated against because the insurer could not establish that not using the rates based on discriminatory criteria would undermine the essence of the business.

On appeal, the Ontario Divisional Court overturned this decision. It concluded that the Board of Inquiry had applied the wrong test and that the words "reasonable and bona fide" found in s. 21 should be given their plain meaning. It ruled that at the relevant time no other statistical data was available on which to base the risk classification of automobile drivers and that consequently there were reasonable and bona fide grounds to rely on the statistics that were available.

This decision was upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

The majority of the Supreme Court of Canada in a decision written by Mr. Justice Sopinka finds that the test in s. 21 is whether (a) a discriminatory practice is based on sound and accepted insurance practices and (b) there is no practical alternative.

The majority finds that the premiums were based on sound and accepted insurance practices. Statistical evidence shows that young, male drivers are involved in proportionately more, and more serious, accidents than other drivers.

However, the fact that there is a statistical correlation between age, sex and marital status, and insurance losses does not fully satisfy s. 21. Human rights values cannot be overridden by business expediency alone. To allow discrimination simply on the basis of statistical averages would only serve to perpetuate traditional stereotypes with all their invidious prejudices. It is necessary therefore to consider whether there is a practical alternative in the circumstances.

The majority finds that there was no practical alternative. Alternative statistical bases of risk classification were not available at the time. The Superintendent of Insurance requires reporting based on certain criteria, but at the time of the complaint statistical data was not available to support classification based on other relevant, non-discriminatory criteria.

The appeal is dismissed.

In a dissenting judgment, Madam Justice L'Heureux-Dubé disagrees with the majority regarding the appropriate test to be applied under s. 21. She concludes that the appropriate test of whether there are reasonable and bona fide grounds for a distinction in premiums based on age, sex, and marital status should be similar to the test set out in Brossard. Following Brossard, the distinction must be:

imposed honestly, and in the sincerely held belief that it accurately reflects the cost of the risk insured;

based on a rational, that is a causal, connection between the distinction and the insured risk; and

a reasonable means of identifying and classifying similar risks.

L'Heureux-Dubé finds that the discriminatory classification scheme was imposed in good faith. However, she finds that there is no causal connection established between being young, single and male and being a higher risk with respect to automobile safety. A mere statistical correlation is not satisfactory, because it accepts the very stereotyping that is deemed unacceptable by human rights legislation.

Age, sex, and marital status have never been controlled or isolated in the statistics used by insurers to determine whether there is a causal connection. The insurance industry has attempted to bridge this gap in its knowledge by reliance on myth and stereotype. This does not satisfy the burden of proof.

In addition, L'Heureux-Dubé finds that there was a reasonable alternative means available to the insurer. It set rates for drivers over 25 years of age based on individual accident records and distance driven. There is no evidence to indicate that the same criteria could not be used for rate classification for drivers 25 and under.

For these reason, L'Heureux-Dubé finds that Zurich Insurance has not satisfied the requirements of s. 21 of the Ontario Human Rights Code. She would allow the appeal.

In her dissenting judgment Madam Justice McLachlin agrees with the majority regarding the test to be applied, but concurs with L'Heureux-Dubé regarding the result.

She finds that Zurich Insurance has failed to prove that there was no practical alternative to using discriminatory criteria as the basis for rate classification. The fact that Zurich Insurance cannot prove that there is no practical alternative does not mean that there is no practical alternative. It cannot prove that there is no practical alternative because it does not have the statistical data necessary to do so. The absence of evidence of alternatives must not be confused with an absence of alternatives. The insurer bears the burden of showing that no reasonable alternative exists, and through its own failure to collect the required data it has failed to meet the burden. That it does not know if there is a practical alternative is not a defence.

Madam Justice McLachlin finds that Zurich Insurance has not discharged the onus of proof on it. She would allow the appeal.

Thornton v. North American Life Assurance Co.
(No.5) (1992), 17 C.H.R.R. D/481 (Ont. Board Inq.)>

In this case, the complainant alleged discrimination based on handicap as a result of an exclusion clause in a long-term disability plan offered by his employer. The exclusion clause in that plan prohibited employees from receiving long term disability benefits if the employee received care or treatment by a physician in the 90 day period prior to the date the insurance became effective. The complainant had visited his physician twice in the first 90 days of his employment in order to discuss his HIV positive status. Eleven months into his employment Mr. Thornton applied for long-term disability benefits because of an illness related to his HIV status.

The Board of Inquiry dismissed the complaint.

Ontario (Human Rights Comm.) v. North American Life Assurance Co.

In March 1995, the Ontario Divisional Court dismissed an appeal by the Ontario Human Rights Commission and Gary Thornton from the 1992 Board of Inquiry decision. The Divisional Court found no error in the Board of Inquiry’s interpretation of section 25(3)(a) and found that Mr. Thornton’s HIV status would have substantially increased the risk under the plan and that the rejection of his claim did not violate the Code (CHRR summary).

Limitation of benefits to the mentally disabled discriminatory

Gibbs v. Battlefords and Dist. Co-operative Ltd. (1996), 27 C.H.R.R. D/87 (S.C.C.)

The Supreme Court of Canada dismisses an appeal by Battlefords and District Co-operative Limited from a decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal upheld a Board of Inquiry ruling that the Co-operative discriminated against Betty-Lu Clara Gibbs on the ground of mental disability because of the terms of an employment-related insurance plan.

Ms. Gibbs is an employee of the Battlefords and District Co-operative Limited. She became disabled in 1987 as a result of a mental disorder and was unable to work. Ms. Gibbs used up her sick leave, and then was paid benefits under an insurance policy that was part of the benefit package provided to employees pursuant to their collective agreement.

Under the terms of the policy, any employee who became unable to work was provided with replacement income for as long as the disability prevented the employee from working or until age 65. However, if the disability in question was a mental disability, the replacement income would terminate after two years, even if the person was unable to resume employment, unless the employee remained in a mental institution. Because of this provision, Ms. Gibbs’ insurance benefits were terminated in March 1990. Had her disability been physical in nature, the benefits would have continued until age 65 whether or not Ms. Gibbs was in an institution.

The issue in this appeal is: does the Co-operative’s disability plan, which places limitations on benefits for mental disability, but not for other kinds of disability, discriminate on the basis of disability contrary to s. 16(1) of The Saskatchewan Human Rights Subscriptions?

The Co-operative argues that there was no discrimination based on mental disability, since the relevant term or condition of employment was an entitlement to insurance benefits under the policy, which all employees received equally. Given the contingent nature of insurance, when the contract was entered into each insured employee enjoyed exactly the same protection from the harm of future disability.

Sopinka J., writing for the Court, rejects this argument. He finds that while each employee enjoyed the same "peace of mind" from the insurance before any risk materialized, the insurance plan also provided a significant benefit to employees after the risk of disability materialized and this benefit was not distributed equally. Those with mental disabilities received less than those with physical disabilities. It would be inimical to the objects of human rights legislation if a practice could be immunized from scrutiny under this legislation simply because its discriminatory effects are contingent on uncertain future events. In Ms. Gibbs’ case, the discrimination was deferred until she became vulnerable and most in need of human rights protection.

The Co-operative also argues that the insurance plan should not be viewed as discriminatory since the appropriate comparison is not between the mentally disabled and the physically disabled but rather between the disabled generally and the able-bodied. The purpose of the Subscriptions is to prevent discrimination against the disabled as compared to able-bodied persons, not as compared to other disabled persons.

The Court also rejects this argument. The "mental disability-physical disability" comparison is appropriate. First of all, to find that there is discrimination on the basis of disability it is not necessary to find that all disabled persons are mistreated equally. It is not fatal to a finding of discrimination that not all persons in the group bearing the relevant characteristic have been discriminated against. Discrimination against a sub-set of the group, in this case those with a mental disability, can be considered discrimination against persons with disabilities.

In addition, if the comparator group is all persons without a disability, a claim of discrimination on the basis of inadequate disability insurance benefits is not likely to be successful. Such a result seems contrary to the purpose of human rights legislation, especially given the particular historical disadvantage facing mentally disabled persons.

In this case, the insurance plan was designed to insure employees against the income-related consequences of becoming disabled and unable to work. The benefits for those with mental disabilities and those with physical disabilities were designed for the same purpose: to insure against the income-related consequences of being unable to work because of disability. Consequently, it is appropriate to compare the benefits available to those with mental disabilities to the benefits available to those with physical disabilities. The true character or under-lying rationale of the insurance plan was to provide income replacement for those unable to work because of disability, and consequently limiting benefits on the basis of mental disability are discriminatory.

The Court also finds that the insurance context which was relevant in Zurich Insurance Co. v. Ontario (Human Rights Comm.) is not relevant here. In Zurich the company led evidence to show that there was a justification for the discrimination in its automobile insurance scheme because it would have been impractical to base the calculation of the risk of accidents on any other data than that related to sex and age. In this case, the limit on benefits available to a mentally disabled employee unless he or she is institutionalized appears to be grounded on a stereotypical assumption concerning the behaviour of mentally disabled persons.

The appeal is dismissed.

In a separate judgment, McLachlin J., who agrees with Sopinka J. regarding the outcome, states her concerns with respect to the formulation of the purpose test.

Under the proposed test, discrimination is determined by examining the true purpose of the insurance plan. Discrimination will exist if benefits received for the same purpose differ on the basis of a characteristic not relevant to the purpose of the insurance scheme. In the instant case, the defined purpose of the scheme is to insure employees against the income-related consequences of becoming disabled and unable to work. When the purpose is framed broadly with reference to the need which the plan seeks to address and without reference to specific injuries or specific groups of people, the nature of the disability becomes an irrelevant characteristic. Therefore, to distinguish benefits on the basis of disability constitutes discrimination.

However, if it is open to the employer and employee to define the purpose of a benefit narrowly by reference to a target group, like alcoholics, as Sopinka J. suggests it would be in his judgment, the result may be to condone exclusion of many valid claims and permit de facto discrimination against others similarly disabled from other causes. McLachlin J. concludes that in defining the purpose of schemes, reference should not be made to specific disabilities and specific target groups, but rather to the broad purposes. Subject to these concerns, she agrees with the judgment of Sopinka J.

Restrictions on benefits on the basis of sexual orientation discriminatory

Dwyer v. Toronto (Metro)

William Dwyer and Mary-Woo Sims allege that the Municipality of Metro Toronto discriminates against lesbian and gay employees who have partners of the same-sex with respect to three categories of employment benefits: uninsured benefits (such as leave to care for ill dependents); insured benefits (such as extended health); and survivor pension entitlement. They assert that this discrimination with respect to benefits contravenes the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Though Metro Toronto argues that in practice uninsured benefits, such as bereavement leave and leave to care for ill dependents, are granted on a discretionary basis to lesbian and gay employees to mourn for or take care of persons with whom they are intimate, the collective agreement with CUPE, Local 79 and Metro personnel policies do not acknowledge the family relationships of employees in same-sex relationships and no formal written direction has been given to managers that same-sex relationships are covered.

CUMBA is the insurer and administrator of the various medical benefit plans at Metro. The major insured benefits include comprehensive medical benefits (e.g. drugs, glasses, orthopedic shoes, chiropractor, basic and orthodontic dental plan). Group life and long term disability are also provided, though those plans are administered by different insurance carriers. These benefits are commonly considered a part of the total wage package of employees.

Since 1992, Metro has provided insured benefits in respect of same-sex relationships. However, it does so on an "interim" basis because the definition of "spouse" in the Municipal Act does not authorize the provision of extended health benefits to same-sex partners. In 1992 the Metro Council requested the provincial government to amend the definition of "spouse" in the Act to provide the appropriate authority, but this amendment has not been made.

Also Metro employees receive pension benefits through the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). OMERS is one of the largest retirement plans in the country. It includes over 1,100 municipalities providing pension benefits to approximately 200,000 employees and 60,000 pensioners. The same-sex partners of Metro employees are not entitled to survivor pensions under the terms of the OMERS plan. Eligible spouses are the opposite-sex partners of employees, either married or common law.

Pensions are commonly recognized as a form of employee compensation, in effect, as deferred wages. There are various types of pension plans, but the federal Income Tax Act ("ITA") sets out the framework for registration of pension plans. Significant tax advantages flow from registration under the ITA. Employee contributions (within the limits prescribed) are tax deductible; the investment earnings of the pension fund are tax sheltered until pay-out; the employer contributions are not a taxable benefit to employees at the time the contributions are made. However, the ITA has an opposite-sex definition of "spouse" in respect of pension plans (though both married and common law spouses are included) and does not permit the payment of survivor benefits to a same-sex partner. A pension plan which provides such benefits is subject to deregistration under the ITA and the loss of significant tax advantages. The Ontario Pensions Benefit Act ("PBA"), which requires that pension plans in Ontario conform with it and be registered with the Pension Commission, also defines "spouse" to include only opposite-sex partners. Since 1988, the PBA has required that pension plans provide benefits for surviving spouses in the form of a lump sum death benefit or a survivor pension.

As a result of these various legislative provisions regarding pensions, currently a same-sex spouse has no status comparable to an opposite-sex spouse and is not entitled to a survivor pension. A same-sex partner may be eligible for a lump sum death benefit if he or she is named as beneficiary in the pension plan. But as the beneficiary not the "spouse", the same-sex partner will have to pay tax immediately on the lump sum death benefit because the tax shelters of the ITA are provided only to recognized "spouses". A recognized spouse is entitled to "roll over" the funds so that the monies are tax sheltered until they are paid out.

Since the consequences of deregistration of a plan if same-sex survivor pensions are provided are drastic, alternative "off-side" arrangements have been designed by some employers to provide survivor benefits to same-sex partners. A Registered Compensation Arrangement ("RCA") is an "off-side" plan funded outside the regular pension plan. It operates like a registered pension plan but without the significant tax advantages to the employee and the employer. Also, the applicable tax rates produce a net effect of halving the investment return. Consequently, there is a significantly higher level of contributions required to produce a comparable level of benefits.

The Board of Inquiry finds that it has the authority to consider the constitutionality of its enabling statute, the Ontario Human Rights Code. It is also appropriate for it to consider the constitutionality of the other pieces of legislation which are directly linked to this complaint, including the PBA, the Municipal Act and the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act. An administrative tribunal may address a Charter issue if it has jurisdiction over the whole matter before it, namely, the parties, the subject-matter and remedies sought, although the tribunal may only treat an impugned provision as invalid for the purposes of the matter before it and cannot issue a formal declaration of invalidity.

The issue here is whether the practice of denying equality in benefits to the same-sex partners of Metro employees contravenes s. 15 of the Charter which, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled, prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but it still contains an opposite-sex definition of "spouse" and "marital status". Section 10 of the Code defines marital status as "the status of being married, single, widowed, divorced or separated and includes the status of living with a person of the opposite-sex in a conjugal relationship outside marriage". The other legislation that is implicated here contains similar definitions. Before the Board of Inquiry are these questions: (1) do opposite-sex definitions of spouse and marital status violate s. 15 of the Charter when they are applied to justify the refusal of employment-related benefits to the same-sex partners of Metro; (2) can this discrimination be justified as a reasonable limit pursuant to s. 1 of the Charter.

Since the respondents concede that the benefit schemes discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, the Board of Inquiry proceeds directly to consider the question of whether the discrimination is justified as a reasonable limit pursuant to s. 1.

The respondents argue that the restriction of insured benefits and pension benefits to opposite-sex partners reflects: an incremental approach to expanding protection against discrimination; concern with the additional costs and administrative burden; support for couples with capacity to procreate and which generally raise children in society; legislative consistency with other provincial statutes and with the ITA. The Board of Inquiry finds that the evidence is questionable as to the objectives of the legislation beyond a desire to provide benefits to female spouses in traditional family units where the husband worked outside the home and the wife raised the children and was economically dependent. The Board of Inquiry accepts this as a valid legislative objective.

However, the Board of Inquiry finds that the means chosen to achieve the legislative objective is to allow discrimination with impunity against the same-sex spouses of employees. There is no rational connection between a desire to extend employment benefits to wives or women in general and an opposite-sex definition of "spouse". The statutory language is neutral; the benefits apply equally to the husbands of female employees. The provision is not related to financial need or economic dependency; the benefits are extended where both husband and wife are employees and/or are financially secure. At the same time same-sex partners are totally denied benefits even if their relationships reflect economic dependency and financial need -- the very concerns of the legislation. Finally, there is not a proportionality between the effects of the measures (the denial of benefits to same-sex spouses) and the objective of ameliorating female poverty.

The Board of Inquiry considers the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Egan v. Canada, which found that, although it was discrimination to deny spousal benefits under the Canada Pension Plan to same-sex partners, this discrimination was a reasonable limit that was justifiable pursuant to s. 1. However, it distinguishes the decision from the matter before it because the Supreme Court of Canada was dealing with social benefits not employment benefits. The Board of Inquiry finds that a stricter application of s. 1 criteria is necessary where an individual’s earnings are involved and the discrimination results in the unequal treatment of employees solely because of the sex of their spouses.
The Board of Inquiry concludes that the equality guarantees in s. 15 of the Charter are contravened by the opposite-sex definitions of spouse and marital status in the Code and related legislation regarding the employment benefits in question in these complaints. The opposite-sex definitions in the legislation constitute discrimination based on sexual orientation. The offending provisions are not saved by s. 1 as limitations demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Considering remedies, the Board of Inquiry concludes that with respect to pension benefits the stumbling block to equality for same-sex spouses is the opposite-sex definition in the ITA. That is beyond the jurisdiction of the Board of Inquiry to address since the ITA is federal legislation. The Board of Inquiry is not convinced that requiring the establishment of an "off-side" arrangement for pension benefits is appropriate in all the circumstances. However, once the ITA permits the benefits to be extended without deregistration of the pension plans, the benefits should be provided to same-sex partners.

The Board of Inquiry orders that:

1.The definitions of "spouse" and "marital status" in s. 10 of the Code are to be read down so as to eliminate the discriminatory effect of the words "of the opposite-sex". 2.The opposite-sex definitions of "spouse" in the Municipal Act and the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act are to be read down in connection with the authority of municipalities to enter into contracts to provide insured benefits (including health plans) for their employees, their spouses, and children. 3.The Province is to interpret and apply the Municipal Act definition of spouse as if it included same-sex spouses with respect to insured benefits and uninsured benefits, and to apply this to pension benefits as well once the definition of spouse is changed in the ITA. The Province is ordered to advise all municipalities of this interpretation within a reasonable time. 4.Metro is to continue providing insured benefits to same-sex spouses on the same basis as such benefits are provided to opposite-sex spouses. 5.The opposite-sex definitions in the PBA (and related provisions in the OMERS Act and the provincial ITA) are to be read down so that same-sex spouses are not excluded once the federal ITA permits pension benefits to be extended without deregistration of the pension plans. 6.Metro is to provide uninsured benefits without discrimination on the basis of the sex of the spouses of its employees, and to take the necessary steps to inform its managers and employees of their entitlement to such benefits. Metro and CUPE, Local 79 are directed to enter into a Letter of Understanding which clarifies the entitlement of same-sex spouses to uninsured benefits under the collective agreement. 7. Metro is ordered to pay Mr. Dwyer the sum of $10,000 as general damages and $1,200 for expenses which he incurred because of the discrimination. Metro is also ordered to pay Ms. Sims $4,000 as general damages.

Sex discrimination includes pregnancy

Brooks v. Canada Safeway Ltd.

The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, rules that Safeway's employee disability plan discriminated against pregnant employees and that this constitutes discrimination because of sex within the meaning of s. 6(1) of the 1974 Manitoba Human Rights Act.

This is an appeal from a decision of the Manitoba Court of Appeal which found that the Safeway disability plan did not discriminate against pregnant employees and that discrimination because of pregnancy is not discrimination because of sex.

The Safeway disability plan, which was challenged in the complaints of Susan Brooks, Patricia Allen and Patricia Dixon, provided twenty-six weeks of disability benefits to any worker who had worked for Safeway for three months and who had to be absent from work for health reasons. However, the plan denied benefits to pregnant employees during a seventeen-week period commencing ten weeks before the week of childbirth and extending to six weeks after it. During this time, pregnant employees who were unable to work, either because of pregnancy-related complications or non-pregnancy-related illness, were not eligible for benefits. UIC maternity benefits provided an imperfect substitute for the disability benefits because they required a longer work period for eligibility, and provided less money for a shorter time.

The Court finds that pregnancy provides a perfectly legitimate health-related reason for not working and as such it should be compensated under the Safeway plan. Not to compensate pregnant employees for legitimate health-related absences goes against the purpose of human rights legislation which is to remove unfair disadvantages suffered by groups. Though society in general benefits from procreation, the Safeway plan places the major costs of procreation entirely on one group -- pregnant women -- and imposes unfair disadvantages on them.

Having found that the plan discriminated against pregnant employees, the Court considers the second issue in this appeal: whether discrimination because of pregnancy is discrimination because of sex. The Manitoba Court of Appeal relied on the 1979 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Bliss v. Canada (Attorney General) to support its finding that discrimination because of pregnancy is not discrimination because of sex because not all women are or become pregnant.

The Supreme Court repudiates Bliss, stating that Bliss was decided wrongly or in any case would not be decided now as it was then. The reasoning of Bliss and the Manitoba Court of Appeal decision in this case are rejected; the fact that only some women are affected by pregnancy-related discrimination does not mean that it is not discrimination because of sex. Only women are affected by this form of discrimination and they are discriminated against because of their gender.

The Court concludes that Safeway's disability plan discriminated against pregnant employees because of their sex.

The Court sets aside the decision of the Manitoba Court of Appeal with costs of the proceedings before the Manitoba courts and the Supreme Court and remits the complaints to the Board of Adjudication for determination of the appropriate remedy.


** Unedited **

Indexed as:

Kane v. Ontario (Attorney-General)

Kelly Kane, and
The Attorney-General for Ontario, and Her Majesty the Queen,
in Right of Ontario, as represented by the Minister of Finance
and Axa Insurance Co.

[1997] O.J. No. 3979
DRS 97-14399
No. RE 6451/96

Ontario Court of Justice (General Division)
Coo J.
Heard: September 23, 1997.
Judgment: October 1, 1997.
(6 pp.)

Civil rights -- Discrimination -- Sexual orientation --
Homosexuals -- Equality and protection of the law -- Particular
cases -- Insurance legislation -- Canadian Charter of Rights
and Freedoms -- Denial of rights -- Remedies, declaration of
invalidity of statute.

Application for a declaration that the definition of spouse
in the Ontario Insurance Act was unconstitutional. Kane was in
a long-lasting same-sex relationship with a woman who was
killed in a motor vehicle accident. Kane's claim for benefits
on the relevant policy was denied since the relationship was
same-sex. Spouse was defined in section 224(1) of the Act as
either of "a man and a woman" in certain designated
relationships. Kane claimed that this definition of spouse, as
it affected her right to claim a death benefit under the No-
Fault Benefits Schedule, was unconstitutional.

HELD: Application allowed. Section 224(1) was
discriminatory contrary to section 15 of the Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms and was not saved by section 1. The
denial of equal benefit in the legislation was deliberately
based on sexual orientation and ran against the preservation of
human dignity and self-worth for part of our society. The
section was unconstitutional insofar as it provided a limiting
definition of spouse which should be altered to read "either of
two persons". Kane was accordingly awarded judgment of the
$25,000 death benefit.

Note: Unreported decision, cited in Quicklaw

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