Spanish gays who were discriminated against under the Franco dictatorship may receive compensation, according to reports.

The Spanish government is considering offering damages to members of the gay community who were sent to mental hospitals, tortured or imprisoned under the regime of General Francisco Franco between the 1930s and 1970s.

Under his strict Catholic rule. gay people were seen as a threat to the Spanish “macho” image. They were banned from jobs and routinely jailed and discriminated against.

Antoni Ruiz was one gay man who suffered, he was sent to prison, raped and tortured, but now as president of the Association of Ex-Social Prisoners he looks likely to receive at least some compensation.

He told The Independent: “This is not just about economic compensation but remembering homosexuals who suffered under unjust and dictatorial laws,”

It wasn’t until 1979 that homosexuality was decriminalised in Span. The current Socialist government has since legalised gay weddings and adoption.

Pedro Zerolo, president of Spain’s Federation of Gays and Lesbians told the paper, “What we want is a declaration of moral rehabilitation for those people who had part of their lives stolen by the state.”