Sisters want same rights as gays

The week's news at a glance.

Strasbourg, France

Two elderly sisters are suing the British government for the same right to inherit each other’s property that gay couples enjoy. Joyce and Sybil Burden, ages 88 and 80, have lived together in their Wiltshire home all their lives. When one of them dies, the other will have no choice but to sell the home to pay the inheritance tax. If they were gay civil partners, though, they would be exempt from the tax. The Burdens have appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, arguing that British law discriminates against siblings. Even if the court eventually rules in their favor, it could be too late to save the house. Human-rights cases generally take years to reach a verdict.

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