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Gay Austrian policeman wins pension compensation following historic sacking for sex with minors

The age of consent at the time was 14 for heterosexuals and lesbians, but 18 for homosexuals.

By Will Stroude

A gay Austrian policeman who was sacked from the force in the 1970s and lost 25% of his pension after being charged with having sex with minors must be compensated because the age of consent was not equal at the time, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled.

The man, who is now 77 and identified only as EB, was given a three-month suspended jail term in 1976 after being found guilty of having sex with two boys, aged 14 and 15.

The age of consent for heterosexuals and lesbians was 14 at the time, but 18 for homosexuals.

While the ECJ did not challenge the conviction or penality, it said that the man must be compensated for lost pension money dating back to December 2003, when Austria implemented an EU anti-discrimination directive. 

The policy, brought in in 2002, equalised the age of consent in Austria at 14 for everyone – though sex workers must be 18 or older.

“It’s wonderful that the judges have ended this discrimination, after 10 years in court,” the man’s lawyer Helmut Graupner told the BBC.

The ruling comes following the introduction of equal marriage in Austria earlier this month. The country is set to host EuroPride in the capital city of Vienna in June.