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International court condemns Chile in child custody case of lesbian Judge Karen Atala


SANTIAGO, Chile -- The Interamerican Court of Human Rights has condemned the Chilean government for denying a judge custody of her three daughters because she is a lesbian.

The Feb. 24 decision was made public Wednesday by local media that cited the regional court's official website.

The tribunal calls on Chile's government to pay $50,000 to Magistrate Karen Atala and her three daughters, and another $12,000 for court costs.

Atala filed a complaint with the Interamerican Commission of Human Rights in Nov. 2004 after Chile's Supreme Court decided to give custody of her daughters to her ex-husband because she is lesbian.

The Interamerican Court says the Chilean government violated Atala's right to privacy.


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How much authority does the Interamerican Court of Human Rights have? Can they enforce this judgement or is it just symbolic?

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