Spain Orders Judge to Return Salary Over Gay Adoption Trial

A judge in Spain has been suspended for ten years and ordered to return his salary of about $127,000 to the government because he delayed a decision to allow a lesbian to adopt her partner's child.

Judge Fernando Ferrin Calamita has to return the salary he received during his suspension while awaiting the decision of the Spanish Supreme Court as well as pay the couple $7,661 and pay another fine of $919.

Calamita was found guilty of obstructing the adoption process when he denied the lesbian's request to adopt the child while waiting for a report on the impact of same-sex families on children. He was initially suspended for two years from the practice, but the Supreme Court in December 2009 increased the suspension to 10 years.

"[T]he powerful Spanish homosexual lobby, with the consent or passivity of all the institutions, decided to punish Ferrin and make him an example," commented the conservative Spain-based Professionals for Ethics, according to the Catholic News Agency.

"This process has had as its purpose the expulsion of Fernando from the bench, after a career as a just judge with an impeccable record."

Calamita plans to appeal the Supreme Court decision, but under Spanish law he needs to repay his salary first. If he wins the appeal, the money will be returned to him.

Spanish activist group HazteOir, which is helping Calamita to raise funds for the salary repayment, said it has about $39,000, according to

Calamita, a married father of seven, was serving as a family court judge when the Supreme Court suspended him for ruling against the gay adoption.