Sicilian courts condemn suspention of gay man's license

Ross von Metzke | June 07, 2005

ROME, Italy — A Sicilian court has issued a statement condemning road authorities for suspending the drivers license of a man over the weekend after finding out he was gay.

According to reports from the Ansa news agency, the court on the Mediterranean island said being gay was merely �a personality disturbance� which had no bearing on a person's ability to drive.

Though homosexuality is legal in Italy, anti-gay comments from politicians and authorities are quite common and rarely cause a stir.

The 23-year-old man, who was identified as Danilo G, got into trouble with the road license authorities in the city of Catania after they discovered he had been exempted from military service because he was gay.

The authorities suspended his driving license ahead of further checks on his "suitability" to take the wheel.

The man's lawyer, Giuseppe Lipera, denounced the move as �utterly scandalous and offensive� and has demanded �500 000 (nearly $1 million) in damages.

�Danilo... is deeply perturbed by what has happened. He has lost his hair and is suffering shock,� Lipera told news agencies in Italy.

In a written ruling released on Monday, the Sicilian court said: �It is clear that sexual preferences do not in any way influence a person's ability to drive motor cars safely. Homosexuality cannot be considered a true and proper psychiatric illness, being a mere personality disturbance.� – Gay Link Content

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