Translated from daily De Standaard in Belgium:
Thursday, May 12, 2011, 11:17
The Italian Cristian Friscina will get no new driving license because he is gay. The authorities of Brindisi, where he lives, ruled that “his homosexuality made them doubt his mental health and thus, out of concern for security, they were unable to give him a new license.”
28-year-old Friscina ever since 1999 has a license, and, as he says, he has never been fined. But during his military service, things went wrong.
The Italian armed forces being a national, not a local, institution, show that this scandal cannot be dismissed as a local problem with a few rednecks in some backwater.
The Italian said that he was gay and “therefore” he was referred to the military hospital. The doctors concluded that the communication scientist was a danger to fellow motorists and that he’d better stop driving. They warned the authorities in Brindisi about this; who decided that the ‘mental illness’ was indeed too dangerous.
Paolo Patanè, president of the Italian gay movement Arcigay, emphasized how ridiculous the ban is: “It has long been known that homosexuality is not a disease. It is about time that everyone learns that.”
It is not the first time that gay men in southern Italy face this kind of discrimination. A few years ago, a Sicilian lost his license in the same way. When he did his driving exam again, he got just a licence for handicapped persons, valid for one year. Last month that man did receive a compensation of 20,000 euros.
A US House panel has approved a defence bill which contains a clause to delay the lifting of the ban on openly gay soldiers: here.