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By Anthony Cuesta

Spain is considering financially compesating gay men who suffered years of abuse due to their sexual orientation. The Washington Times reports that men like Antonio Ruiz, who was imprisoned after revealing he was gay, may soon be awarded a one-time payment of nearly 12.000 € plus a 800 € monthly pension. "I spent three months in prision," Ruiz said of the abuse he suffered due to his sexual orientation, reports the Times. "I was raped there and in the police cells and psycho-logically tortured by both the guards and the prision doctor".

In order to garner compesation for himself and others like him who suffered through abuse and were unable to work during dictator Francisco Franco's rule, Ruiz became president of the Association Ex-social prisioners. The Times reports that Ruid said the possible approval of the compesation could mark an official recognition of the atrocities.

"This is not just about economic compensation but remembering homosexuals who suffered under unjust and dictatorial Laws," he said.

During Franco's homophobic dictatorship, gays were jailid or locked up in sinister mental institutions known as "correction camps". With echoes of the Nazi atrocities, gays were given electric shocks in the belief that this would rid them of their homosexual urges.

Inmates were also forced to watch pornographic films featuring women in an effort to show them a sex life that was deemed "natural" by the conservative authorities. As part of their nationalist, Catholic ideals, the Franco Regime and its Fanlangist supporters considered homosexuals a threat to the "macho" Spanish male.

General Queipo del Llano, who broadcast to the nation, once said, "Any effeminate or introvert who insults the movement will be killed like a dog".

The most famaous gay man killed by the regime was the poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, who wrote Blood wedding and The house of Bernarda Alba. Considered a subversive, he was executed bya Nationalist firing squad in Granada in 1936. Homosexuality was designated as an offence under the "law against delinquency and criminals" introduced in 1954, but towards the end of Franco's regime, it was increasingly viewed as an illness rather than a crime. In 1968 psychologist Lopez Ibor sais, "Homosexuals Should be seen more as sick people than as criminals, but the law should still prevent them proselytising in schools, sports clubs and army barraks." Jail terms of up to three years were imposed unders laws covering "public scandal" or "social danger"

The present socialist government legalised same-sex weddings and gay adption in 2005, against opposition from conservatives and the Roman Catholic Church. Pedro Zerolo, president of Spain's Federation of gays and lesbians, told Britain's Independent, "What we want is a declaration of moral rehabilitation for those people who had part of their lives Stolen by the state"