The Italian Almanac

gays can drive

Gays Can Drive

Two Italian ministries have been ordered to pay 100,000 euros in compensation to a Sicilian man whose driving licence was confiscated because he was gay. A Catania judge rejected an appeal by the defence and transport ministries against a civil court ruling last July to pay 27-year-old Danilo Giuffrida the sum in damages for sexual discrimination.

In 2001, Giuffrida told military doctors he was gay during routine tests prior to military service. The army sent a copy of the report to the local department of motor vehicles which subsequently revoked Giuffrida`s license on medical grounds. A court later ordered the local motor vehicles department to return Giuffrida`s license, saying being gay didn`t affect driving skills since ``it cannot be considered a psychological illness``.

``Sexual preference does not affect someone`s capacity to safely drive motor vehicles,`` it said. Giuffrida, who originally asked for damages of 500,000 euros, is now considering lodging a secondary appeal for the full amount.