Monday, January 22, 2007

Sorry Darling

A Colombian woman called Darling has been told she cannot become a Spanish citizen because her name is unacceptable.

Years of waiting to obtain Spanish citizenship for Darling Velez, 33, appeared to end with success a few months ago when her application was accepted, but she was shocked when the public registry rejected her name, El Mundo newspaper said on Friday.

Spanish law prohibits names which could expose a person to ridicule or do not clearly indicate gender. Without registering her name, Velez cannot become a citizen.

The registry office suggested Velez, who lives near Madrid, should choose a saint's name. But she said she wanted to stay Darling.

"My name is part of my personality. If they force me to change it, I'll change it to a Basque name and see what they say then," she said.

Names in Spain's minority Basque language were prohibited for many years during the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco but now are common.

No comments: