The Spanish government rallied Monday to the side of a beauty queen who lost her title because she has a child, demanding that organizers give back her crown.
The government's top official for gender equality issues, Soledad Murillo, said motherhood could not be used as grounds for discrimination "as if it were an impediment to a woman's professional performance."
But on Feb. 13 organizers took the crown away, citing a clause in the regional contest that says contestants cannot have children or be pregnant.
Bustillo had been a contestant for three years running, and said organizers knew even last year she had a kid. She said she believed the clause would never been enforced, reports AP.
"Now I see that is not so, that it is true I cannot compete for Miss Spain just because I have a child, as much as that hurts," she told the newspaper El Mundo.
Bustillo has hired a lawyer to sue the organizers a company called Propulsora Montanesa S.A. for discrimination and force them to restore her title.
The charter of the regional pageant says female contestants cannot be pregnant or have kids because, if they win, these circumstances would hinder their ability to travel or take part in fashion shows.
It says this is not the case for male contestants in beauty pageants because paternity does not involve "substantial physical changes" that hinder their post-contest performance in case of victory.
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