Posted by NOT AHEM on June 11, 2005 at 23:03:40:
ROME (Reuters) - A Sicilian court condemned road authorities Monday for suspending the driving license of a man after finding out he was gay.
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 euros ($613,500) in damages.
"Danilo ... is deeply perturbed by what has happened. He has lost his hair and is suffering shock," Lipera was quoted as saying by Ansa.
In a written ruling released 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."
The judges added that homosexuality "cannot be considered a true and proper psychiatric illness, being a mere personality disturbance."
Homosexuality is legal in Italy, but openly anti-gay comments from politicians and officials rarely cause a stir.
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