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Even the public prosecutor demanded that the indictment be dismissed, but the judge applied the civil code of 1889: A man in Valencia was sentenced to pay compensation of 3,000 euros to his ex-wife because he was said to have concealed his homosexuality from her.
For this reason, the responsible judge has declared the marriage, which was divorced in 2011, null and void, the media reported on Tuesday evening, citing judicial circles.
The convicted lawyer Javier Vilalta, who described himself as bisexual during the trial and admitted that he had "same-sex affairs" before marriage, described the verdict as "terrible" according to the newspaper "El Mundo".
His lawyers announced an appeal.
The Spanish Association of Lesbians, Gays, Transgender and Bisexuals (FELGTB) criticized the judgment as reactionary.
In a "moral process" a "worrying and dangerous precedent had been created," said a statement from the association.
FELGTB President Uge Sangil stated: "A person's sexual orientation has been publicly put in the dock."
That is unconstitutional.
The deputy prime minister of the Valencian Community, Mónica Oltra, also sharply criticized the procedure: it was high time that "long outdated legal rules that violate the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution are abolished".
Judge invokes laws of 1889
Even the prosecutor had spoken out in favor of dismissing the charges.
In her judgment, however, the judge relied on the civil code of 1889. This provides for the annulment of a marriage if it comes about through "fraud".
The judge said that Vilalta had deliberately kept quiet about his homosexuality.
"I never cheated on my wife. I was in love when I married her," said the convict to "El Mundo".
"My wife knows I was totally straight during the marriage."
The separation took place in 2011 by mutual agreement, the sexual orientation of the man played no role.
After the divorce, he and his wife remained good friends, explained Vilalta - even after he introduced her to a male partner in 2016 whom she "found very nice".
Vilalta's ex-wife, according to El Mundo, sued him after she found out that he had had affairs with men before they were married.
Originally, she had asked for compensation of 10,000 euros.
However, the court ruled that she should receive 1000 euros for each of the three years of marriage.
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