Now perhaps, like me, you're wondering what a "gay driving test" could possibly be. But let's leave "stick shift" jokes aside and look at what's actually happening here, shall we?
ROME (Reuters) - An Italian court has ruled the government must pay 100,000 euros ($157,700) in damages to a man who was told to retake a driving test because he was homosexual.Yes, institutionalized discrimination based on sexual orientation is so odd! Doctors spreading confidential information to cause deliberate harm is so odd!
When 26 year-old Danilo Giuffrida told doctors he was gay at his medical examination for military service, they passed the information to the transport ministry, who told him he must repeat his driving test or have his license withdrawn due to his "sexual identity disturbance."
Giuffrida agreed to re-take his test, passed it for a second time, but the ministry renewed his license for just one year rather than the usual 10 years because of his homosexuality.
Ironically, or perhaps I should say unsurprisingly, Reuters missed the actual part of the story that made it "odd." Namely, the success of the lawsuit, and its historical significance.
The judge ruling on the case in Catania, on the southern island of Sicily, said the actions of the defense and transport ministries showed "evident sexual discrimination" against Giuffrida and ran counter to his constitutional rights.This is a major step forward in civil rights, not simply a goofy story about a "gay driving test." The authors of this piece seem to think the settlement won is the most important detail of this story, as if a pile of euros can somehow be more valuable than a significant civil rights victory.
The behavior of the ministries led Giuffrida to have "a grave sense of mistrust towards the state," added the judge, who ordered them to pay him 100,000 euros of damages in his verdict issued on Saturday.
Giuffrida's lawyer said the case marked the first time the state had been punished for sexual discrimination, and he hoped Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi would "summon Giuffrida and apologize to him on behalf of the state and all Italians."
Giuffrida said the sentence was "a step forwards for civil rights because from now on what happened to me can't happen again."
Kudos also to Reuters for their two other "odd" stories, pooling misogyny and crass indifference.
Women arrested in Sex Competition- Of course, the men in this story were arrested too, but it's the women that need to be shamed in the headline. Also, the women were filmed participating in this "competition," to become internet wank fodder. We have no idea if the women knew this was going to happen (something tells me they probably didn't), but apparently investigating women being filmed without their knowledge to become unwilling participants on an internet porn site isn't all that important.
Ravers Lose Sight at Laser Show- Apparently, people being accidentally blinded is just quirky, not tragic or upsetting. Is Reuters run by Nelson Muntz?