A Spanish Court Is Forcing This Bisexual Man to Pay His Ex-Wife for ‘Hiding His Sexuality’

A Spanish Court Is Forcing This Bisexual Man to Pay His Ex-Wife for ‘Hiding His Sexuality’

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A shocking court case out of Valencia, Spain, has in effect cemented “bi erasure,” conflating people who are attracted to more than one gender as in essence ‘really just gay.’ Even worse, this recent bisexuality court case has resulted in a cash payout for the ex-wife of a Spanish attorney and activist — truly ridiculous.

Javier Vilalta has said he was “perplexed” when he was served with a lawsuit from his ex-wife, who he had amicably divorced a decade prior. She was suing him for hiding “his true sexual condition” from her, according to the suit.

After a three-month case, the court ordered Vilalta to pay his wife a hefty sum for each year they were married for having “deliberately hidden” his homosexuality. Let’s be clear, though, he’s not homosexual. How sad and unfortunate that in 2020 there are people who still don’t understand the concept of bisexuality, let alone try to cement bi erasure into law as a judge.

Vilalta has said about this bisexuality court case (translated from Spanish), “The trial has been shameful, and the sentence was a slap in the face. But, beyond the lawsuit and the sentence, we must remember that we are talking about a person with whom I have had a relationship from 16 to 34 years old. … When I got married I was heterosexual, I want this to be very clear. That’s how I felt. As a result of my divorce, I had doubts about my personality and with a therapist I discovered that I was bisexual. And this I told my ex-wife in 2016.”

Javier Vilalta, who was sued as part of this bisexuality court case. (Photo by Eva Máñez)

Vilalta’s wife, reportedly, was told by her friends last year that her ex-husband had likely always been homosexual, which prompted her to file the lawsuit. She alleges that she would have never married him had she known about his true sexuality, and for that asked to be compensated 10,000 euros for “economic and moral damages.” 

The potential chilling effect of a decision like this, which Vilalta has himself acknowledged, is that more people will be afraid to ‘come out of the closet’ if in the past they were in a seemingly heterosexual relationship.

But Vilalta is correct: No one is obligated to reveal their sexual history or identity to anyone, including a partner, and such an obligation being enshrined in law is laughably foolish. Moreover, sexual identity for many people — most especially queer people — is something that evolves over time, as in the instance of this bisexual court case.

But lest we become too disheartened, Vilalta’s case — and its resulting bi erasure — isn’t finished quite yet, as the Spanish activist has decided to appeal the ruling and monetary judgment. He’s said he wants to make sure this “does not happen to anyone again.” 

What are your thoughts on this bisexuality court case? Are you as confused as we are that bi erasure still exists in 2020?

Featured photo courtesy Getty Images

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