P’s employer offered concession rates for train journeys for employees’ spouses or long term partners. However it refused to give these concessions to P’s same-sex long term partner. ECJ held that clearly it couldn’t infringe directive 76/207, since that concerned equal treatment of men and women, and not sexual orientation. Same was true of article 141 of EC Treaty. The law did not at that time view stable marriages between same-sex couples as equivalent to marriages between heterosexual couples.
ECJ: Although respect for the fundamental rights which form an integral part of the general principles of Community law is a condition of the legality of Community acts, those rights cannot in themselves have the effect of extending the scope of the Treaty provisions beyond the competences of the Community. It rejected the conceptualisation of ‘sex’ as including ‘sexual orientation’ as is considered to be the case in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.