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Spain's Gay Marriage Law Hits Snag Over Foreigners
by Daniel Woolls, Associated Press

Posted: July 6, 2005 12:00 pm ET

(Madrid) Spain's new gay marriage law hit its first snag Wednesday as a court said a Spanish man can't wed his Indian partner because India does not allow same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court of Justice of Catalonia cited an article in the Spanish civil code which says foreign residents seeking to wed Spaniards are bound by the laws of the country where they have citizenship. The Indian man is resident of Spain but holds an Indian passport.

The dispute erupted Tuesday, six days after Spain's parliament made this country the third in the world to legalize gay marriage. The others are Netherlands and Belgium. Canada is expected to legalize gay marriage later this month.

The court's comments - released in a statement prompted by media inquiries, not in a formal ruling - suggest that for the time being at least, gay Spaniards seeking to marry foreigners can only do so with people from the Netherlands and Belgium.

The Spanish Justice Ministry did not return calls seeking comment.

The Indian man, identified in news reports as Vipul Dutt, 33, went to a judge in the Barcelona-area village of Canet de Mar with his partner, 45-year-old Spaniard Enric Baucells, seeking to file papers that will allow them to get married.

Their lawyer, Jose Maria Ortiz, told the newspaper El Periodico that the judge informed them he could not marry them because Dutt is from India, which doesn't allow same-sex marriage.

The court said that the couples can appeal to a Justice Ministry department that oversees Spain's civil registries.

©Associated Press 2005

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