Spanish judge suspended over lesbian ruling

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A judge in Spain who ordered a mother to choose between her partner and her daughters, because “a homosexual environment threatened their education,” has been suspended.

The body which supervises the judiciary in that country, the General Council for Judicial Power, has suspended Fernando Ferrín Calamita and a complaint about his behaviour is under investigation.

The woman, from Murcia, south east Spain, was faced with the impossible choice after her husband discovered her in a compromising position with another woman.

The woman’s husband filed for divorce and was awarded custody of the couple’s two daughters, after ‘proving’ his wife is a lesbian.

“The mother will have to chose between her daughters and her new partner,” Judge Ferrin ruled in June 2007.

“It’s impossible that two homosexual parents can give a child complete education.”

The Spanish Federation of Gays, Lesbians, Transsexuals and Bisexuals said the case went against basic human rights:

“There has been no case of it’s kind since the arrival of legal gay marriage in Spain, and the law states that the custody of a child should be decided independently of the sexual orientation of the parent.”

Judge Ferrin is known for his firm stance against topless swimming and nudists.

Spain is credited with having some of Europe’s most liberal gay rights legislation, and in 2005 became the third country to legalise gay marriage.

However, decades of persecution under dictator Francisco Franco ended with the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1979.

The country goes to the polls in a general election next month.

Partido Popular, the main opposition party, who are the political heirs of Franco, have made the family a central plank of their election campaign.

Party leader Mariano Rajoy said in an interview last week that he is ready to take away the right to adopt from gay couples.

PP has promised to establish a new “family” ministry if they win the March 9th general election and suggested that the “traditional family” needs extra protection.

The party has also talked about “downgrading” gay marriage to a form of civil partnership.

The Socialist government came to power in the aftermath of the 2004 and has legalised same-sex marriage and adoptions, eased divorce laws and repeatedly clashed with the Roman Catholic Church.