The Supreme Court has ordered a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in relation to the UK's application of Council Directive 79/7/EEC, which provides for equal treatment between the sexes in matters of social security.

The case relates to a transgender woman who was denied the female state pension (and so denied a state pension payable from age 60 instead of age 65) having remained married, for religious reasons, following her transition from male to female.  This was on the basis that the transgender woman had remained a man under the provisions of the 2004 Gender Recognition Act as a "gender recognition certificate" cannot be obtained by a married person who did not have their marriage annulled.

The transgender woman had lost her case in the Court of Appeal in 2014 but the Supreme Court was divided on the point and so referred the issue to the ECJ for their guidance.