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Court rules non-virgin bride, spouse wed

PARIS, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A French court declared a Muslim couple still married after the husband tried to have the union annulled because the bride lied about her virginity.

Overturning an April decision that determined the woman breached the wedding contract by lying about "an essential quality," the court in Douai ruled Monday virginity could not be given such weight because "its absence has no repercussion on matrimonial life," The Guardian reported Tuesday.

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The lawyer for the groom, who said he was tricked into marrying the woman because she lied, called the decision, "very worrying," while feminist organizations hailed the decision, the British newspaper said.

Some critics said the lower court ruling bowed to a sexist interpretation of Islam, The Guardian said, while others said they wondered whether the initial ruling indicated the religious law of Islam was inching its way into the French secular system.

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