A judge has decided to overturn a previous ruling stating that a bisexual man had to pay his ex-wife for emotional damages after coming out. Even worse, the divorce was over a decade ago.
According to Metro Weekly, Human Rights lawyer Javier Vilalta from Spain divorced his wife back in 2009. Yet, she recently sued him for compensation to annul their marriage on the grounds that he “hid his homosexuality” from her.
In her lawsuit, the ex-wife, whose identity is being withheld, claimed that Vilalta used her “as a social refuge.” She claimed she never would have married him or stayed married to him for three years had she known he was bisexual. She says she decided to sue Vilalta after attending a dinner party and hearing from a mutual friend that they knew Vilalta had “always been homosexual” and had prior gay relationships.
That lawsuit ended in 2019 when a lower court in Valencia, Spain ruling that Vilalta’s wife should receive 1,000 euros (approximately $1,187 U.S. dollars) for every year that they were married. This is despite Vilalta saying in court, “I wasn’t gay at that time. I had had a brief homosexual experience.”
“Even if we admit that Javier was in a relationship with a man in the past, in any case, there is no reason why a bisexual person cannot have a happy marriage,” his attorney added in the hearings.
“The trial has been shameful and the sentence a slap in the face,” Vilalta said after that original ruling.
Seeing the original lower court ruling as an example of Spain’s “backward, conservative” laws, Vilalta appealed the case to a higher court. He refused to believe homosexuality can be punished. And now, thankfully, that court has ruled in his favor.
According to the Times, a Spanish regional court has overruled the lower court’s ruling. Arguing for his client’s defense, Vilalta’s lawyer acknowledged the ex-wife’s act of bi-erasure. He argued that even if his client had a past relationship with a man, there is no reason a bisexual person cannot have a happy marriage with someone of the opposite sex.
Vilalta also explained that he had a five-year relationship with another man after breaking up with his former wife. This fact did not erase his bisexuality and his amicable split from his ex-wife wasn’t some confirmation of him only being gay. In fact, Vilalta introduced this former male partner to his ex-wife and she was ok with it. Their relationship only soured after she heard the comment from their mutual friend.
But in the end, Vilalta is victorious.