NAGAAA Gay Softball League Defends Itself in Open Letter

The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) is defending itself against a widely publicized suit brought against them by three bisexual softball players and the NCLR alleging they discriminated by stripping the players' team of their second place finish in the Gay World Series, after discovering the players were bisexual.

D2 Writes NAGAAA, in part:

"At its core, NAGAAA is a grass roots organization dedicated to providing a safe environment for gays and lesbians. We have no paid staff; we do not have large sums of money, nor a pool of talented lawyers. It saddens all of us that the NCLR, whom we view as members of our community, have chosen this destructive path. NAGAAA represents a diverse population, and as such there are legitimate differences of opinion among us. However, the action by the NCLR has forced these differences into the court system, rather than allowing our members the right to define who and what we are. One thing is clear, if NCLR is successful, the enormous monetary damages they seek will put our very existence in jeopardy. Regardless of the outcome, everyone loses here. There are no winners
We are just at the beginning of this difficult saga. The Board is committed to representing our organization to the best of our abilities. We are guided by the framework of our organizational charter, as written by you, our members. We commit to keeping you informed as this process continues. We believe that once the facts are discovered a very different story emerges from that which has been reported, and we hope that NCLR will join with us."


  1. Steve says

    My legal perspective is: A private organization that derives no public funding is not subject to anti-discrimination laws. They can discriminate against whoever they want, if they’re a private organization.

    I am a gay man, and I’ve been a member of gay sports teams that have welcomed gay and bisexual individuals. I would never be a member of an association that actively discriminated like this. And I don’t agree with this decision to strip a team of its 2nd place trophy because members weren’t purely gay. (Ever heard of the Kinsey scale?) But I think legally they have the right to do it.

  2. James C says

    First of all, I think the NAGAAA rule is in need of major revision and they should have never put these guys before a board to defend themselves. However, I understand why the rule was originally put in place – to make sure the softball league is accessible and enjoyable to the GLBT community and it’s supporters.

    I played against this team in the World Series. They showed up stacked with players who wanted nothing to do with our community. They were there to win and were completely disrespectful in doing so. Several of the guys who claimed to be bisexual were doing so simply to qualify for the tournament. I’d never ask someone to defend their sexual identity, but their actions made it very clear they weren’t being honest.

    Instead of basing player qualifications on sexual identity, they should base it on involvement in the community/league. For example, restrict the tournament to players with 2 or more years experience in the league. Or require some type of community service before a team can qualify.

    In the end, this lawsuit is destructive and unnecessary. If these guys really are a part of our larger community, they should work with the organization to bring about the needed policy changes. Financially crippling a positive community organization helps no one.

  3. Z says

    From the press reports, it sounds like these guys worked hard to convince the league to change this stupid rule, but the league said no way. Suing the league was their only option.

  4. Lars says

    If we are equal, why do gay people need special leagues?
    Being gay isn’t a lifestyle.
    Are there special leagues for left-handed people?
    Are there separate leagues for people who are colour blind?
    We are either equal or we’re not.

  5. says

    I have serious problems with that statement about choosing who to associate with. I’m Black and Gay and a whole lot of people don’t want to associate with either, so, I don’t want to have that coming from my own.

  6. Chitown Kev says

    James C’s statement brought to mind both the Danny Almonte case in the Little League World Series a few years back but in that particular case, the little League had a definite age rule and the means to verify Alomonte’s true age.

    I’m also reminded a little of when high school sports teams (mostly public schools) are accused of recruiting players out of their properly zoned (or whatever the local terminology for that is) schools in order to win and to maintain high school sports dynasties (and this happens a lot).

    Could that have gone on here? Perhaps.

    Now never mind the humiliating questioning and interrogation of the 5 players, it seems that 2 of those player gave precisely the same answer and the white one was judged to be gay (for the purposes of the tournament) and the black one was judged to be straight and, therefore disqualified.

    Is that right? Hell no.

    Is it legal? I guess we’ll see.

  7. Jeffrey Taylor says

    I’m rather tired of people hiding by “just my opinion” in order to be bigoted. Cheers to NCLR for confronting our own about our own bigotry and prejudice. There’s MUCH work to be done here, and we will never get equality if we don’t treat each other equally.

  8. Lael says

    @James C

    So, let me get this straight… because they didn’t want to socialize and focused on winning, they were in the wrong? Hell, I am full-on gay and want nothing to do with the community and socializing. I keep up on news, work and stay home with my husband. The community simply confusing and often vicious. Why subject oneself to things you don’t like?

    Sorry, but sounds a lot more like typical gay discrimination against bisexuals. You know, those guys many gays are saying are just in a phase and are really gay? Besides, how do you prove your sexuality? Again, by asking questions someone NOT into the community aspect can’t answer? My understanding is that sexuality is self defined. You are what you say you are.

  9. Frozen North says

    The league should allow any team that is GLBT friendly to join, even if it’s all str8 people. Discrimination is wrong, and we have to act in a manner that is consistant with how we want to be treated.

    I was at the world series. I think these guys were disqualified because they came with players who were too good for the league level they were in.

    But if it’s really a case of anti-Bi discrimination, then the League deserves a good wrist slap.

  10. Jules says

    This is so disturbing and makes me even more disgusted with the softball organization. I hope NAGAAA loses membership for defending their discriminatory practices.

    I also love how they only use “gay and lesbian” in the letter. Just a couple of days ago their website said LGBT on the homepage. Guess the B and T don’t count anymore for them–how convenient.

  11. Chitown Kev says


    Which is why I brought up Danny Almonte.

    Do you think anyone would have given a shit about Danny Almonte’s age if he wasn’t their ace star pitcher (who pitched a perfect game) and if they weren’t in the Little League World Series?

    That’s why James C’s post seems quite disingenious.

  12. DR says

    NAGAAA makes me very uncomfortable when using language such as “we have the right to define who we are”. Very reminiscent of hetero groups trying to exclude gays.

    According to the lawsuit, NAGAAA was asked to change the policy, and that request was refused by the board. NAGAAA claims to be inclusive and diverse, yet the questions put forth to the five players in question were, if believed, geared at making a distinction between “gay” and “not gay”. And the questioning was done, again if believed, in a very hurtful, disrespectful, and totally unpleasant manner.

    Maybe it is a “private organization”, and in that case, as what happened with the Boy Scouts, they’ll win the battle but ultimately lose the war as more and more gay-friendly and bi-friendly folk look for another place to play, donate to other more inclusive organizations, and stop supporting the NAGAAA until it realizes that it’s laboring under a false dichotomy.

    If the Gay Games can allow straight men and women to compete, why is this such an issue for NAGAAA?

  13. BART says

    What possible questions could you ask to decide if someone was “gay” or “not gay”? The whole thing sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit. Did they hook them up to a lie detector? Give them a sex quiz? Make them name the last twenty people they had sex with? It’s so ripe for parody it’s just too too easy.

    I used to play club softball (straight) and have never played on an all-gay team. But even in the team was “stacked” as has been stated in the comments, live with it. Happens in every sport, everywhere, every time. Some people just don’t go home with trophies. But seriously…disqualifying teams because they have bisexual players?! Really?! Or even straight players?!

    This is sounding like the thru-the-looking-glass version of the Repulican party. Can’t you just wait to see what’s going to happen when Fox News gets hold of this story?

  14. Bill says

    The players said they were bisexual, so what. They very well could be lying and with girlfriends and wives in the stands the league determined they were lying. The league made the right decision.

    Did you know NAGAAA has a WOMEN’S ONLY league but not an equivalent one for men instead the one with mostly men is open to women? The NCLR obviously has zero problem with that because it advantages women.

    I hope this lawsuit does destroy the NAGAA because if it survives I know that heterosexuals will flood the league and gay people will be pushed out.

    I am completely against the NCLR for doing this. They are devils. Gay men are discouraged from playing sports growing up because of the hostile, anti-gay atmosphere. That is why this league was set up. Now we have devilish, meddlesome lesbians coming in to make sure gay men stay disadvantaged.

  15. TANK says

    We need to eliminate the all black and all latino, and women leagues, too. Those need to go, as they are clearly bigoted against whites and men.

    Anyway, idiots, a man doesn’t play softball…and that’s your george will moment of truth brought to you by reality.

  16. Paul says

    Yes, and church, company, and age restricted leagues have to go. Co-ed leagues that mandate a certain number of women and/or men on the field at a time — they’re out too.

    But let’s not stop at softball. What’s this nonsense about having to be a Christian to be a member of the Masons? Why are only black people officers in the NAACP?

    People are equal but not the same. As such,
    the 1st Amendment guarantees the freedom of association. Private organizations get to determine who can join and who cannot.

    Now you may think the NAGAAA’s policy is screwed up. (I think much of what they do is screwed up, but for other reasons entirely.) Fine. Don’t join them, don’t support them.

  17. TANK says

    Save that whiny titty baby palaver for joe “I hate jews and let’s hug a muslim (islam=religion of peace) terrorist” my god’s comments, chitown. Be “open minded”…like they are.

  18. Bill says

    WRONG, Chitown Kev, I only said these NCLR members are devish, which they are.

    Jim, we don’t know if they really are bisexual or if they made that up so they could play in the gay softball world series.

  19. Chitown Kev says


    Point taken, but then exactly what would the “gay civics literacy test” (to take an idea from the Tea Party convention in Nashville) be?…which James C is more or less proposing.

  20. TANK says

    And doesn’t having heterosexual privilege disqualify you from membership in the lgbt community? Be that whether you’re a closeted gay man or lesbian woman married to a member of the opposite sex, or a bisexual man or woman married or dating opposite gender….or a transgender person who passes and gets male privilege and heterosexual privilege (adjust to fit)… Who gives a fuck about attraction and self-identification when tangible rights are on the line? Not me. Until all relationships are actually equal in the law, there is a very big difference in rights between members of our community based on nothing more than orientation or identity.

  21. Perry says

    Bill, you do realize that if NAGAAA wins this case that it will lead to a legal precedent where ANY org can claim they’re private and discriminate against gays in states where there’s laws against nondiscrimination. Here lies the irony of NAGAAA fighting to keep bisexuals out–what they’re doing could lead to all gays being left out. NAGAAA is essentially fighting for the right to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

    Also leave NCLR alone, without them we couldn’t have had the chance to get married in CA before Prop 8 passed.

  22. Bill says

    Perry, then why is there a women’s only league and not a men’s only league? Why isn’t NCLR challenging the women’s only league? The gay softball league was set up because gay men are discouraged from playing sports. There have been ZERO, I rerpeat ZERO openly gay MLB or minor league players ever! Until that changes leagues like this have a worthy and just cause.

  23. DR says


    So bisexuals are only family when they follow their same-sex attraction? I don’t think so. Whether Mr Bisexual is married to a man or a woman, he’s still bisexual.

    Nice way to discriminate. With all the crap bisexuals get from gay men, let’s dump more on them by excluding them from a bloody game of softball. *rolls eyes*

    Yes, let’s regress instead of move forward because some of you have a really bad case of sour grapes and jealousy. And that’s really what it boils down to. You’re pissed off and jealous that a bi man or woman might actually find an opposite-gender partner and get rights, and that pisses you off.

  24. TANK says

    Yeah, DR, because heterosexual privilege isn’t based on groundless discrimination at all in your little land of talking gumdrops and strawberry shortcake. By your view, it doesn’t matter…which is par for the course, because gay rights don’t matter to you.

  25. TANK says

    heterosexual privilege is just sour grapes jealousy according to DR and maggie gallagher…notice, I wasn’t singling out bisexuals, but closeted homosexuals, too.

  26. DR says

    Tank, you singled out anyone who doesn’t fit your outdated and stale idea of what it means to be “GLBT” and lumped them all into a single category based on your own prejudices. Open and proud bisexuals, closeted gay men, and transgenders who can “pass” have all gone through different struggles, and you just casually dismiss them in the name of your own victimhood.

    No wonder the GLB community is fighting among itself, with people like you more concerned with crying “I’m the bigger victim than you and it’s not fair” than acknowledging what GLBs have in common.

  27. TANK says

    Oh yes, my outdated stale understanding of what it means to be gay…I need to be more open minded and allow heterosexuals in! I need to obliterate labels, because they’re not useful…it’s not useful for an oppressed minority to rely on labels to identify themselves as oppressed…because we all know that problems get solved when they’re out of sight and out of mind.

    And heterosexual privilege is just sour garpes according to you…it doesn’t reflect any underlying discrimination that openly gay and lesbian people confront every day…I mean, who’s ever lost their job because they’re homosexual? No one! And homosexuals can get married to other homosexuals…provided it’s opposite sex!

    This your reality….you have no interest in gay rights, dr.

    Hey, I think anyone who wants to identify as l, g, b or t can go right ahead and do so because sexuality and gender are just social constructs that have no objective reality. Panda’s and people, baby! Panda’s and people! biology is a nice bedtime story.

  28. TANK says

    and I guess I am open minded and do allow heterosexual into the “family” as you class it, DR, because when my heterosexual friends (most of them) get on my nerves, I call ’em faggots. So that’s me being a progressive open minded anti label genderqueer….”gay” (I hate that word, it’s so oppressive)….”man” (I hate that word, too). Oh, and I’m being sarcastic, douchenozzle.

  29. Tony says

    I know some of the guys involved, and most of them are straight (including one of the guys found to be ‘gay’). This is a case of a team ‘stacking the deck’….

    Unfortunately, the inquisition was poorly done and ridiculously public…..

  30. DR says

    Tank, Tank, Tank….your irrational fear of bisexuals and anyone else who can pass speaks volumes about your character. You’re no better than the anti-gay bigots, you just hide under a rainbow flag when you discriminate.

    That’s why the GLBT community has no rights. Because bigoted gay men like yourself are JEALOUS.

    Real nice.

  31. TANK says

    Yeah…whatever, DR. Discrimination against lgbt americans doesn’t exist, apparently. In your fantasy land. You can’t address the argument. Heterosexual privilege is REAL, so how you personally identify or your personally attractions don’t matter.

    I don’t fear bisexuals, nor do I condone discrimination against bisexuality. It’s wrong. But if all heterosexual privilige founded on irrational bigotry equates to you is jealousy…you simply don’t care about lgbt rights.

  32. TANK says

    LOL! C’mon, DR! Defend your position, you abject failure. Doesn’t the stink of failure choke you? I’m choking on your failure from here…wow, you’re like the hall and oates of argument: you suck. And you’re a lawyer? goodness…

  33. says

    I discovered years ago, that there are within the gay community, many of what I call… hetero-phobics.There world is only gay, and they actually hate straights.I played in the first gay league in the country, and in the beginning… the caliber of the players in our league played mostly for fun. However, the Championship trophy became coveted. In 1976, the 3rd year
    of the S.F. Gay community Softball League, a few of the teams added non-gays to their rosters, with many of the straight players, who worked for gay owned companies. That seemed to change in 1977, when a gay bar sponsored team was made up of mostly non-gay players that had little or no connection to our community. Other teams had more then a few. Some of the original gay players found themselves sitting on the dugOUT bench, for most of the season. They protested that it was suppose to be a gay league. The team I played on, The Round-up looked for good gay players… but most of them played on one or 2 teams. So our manager, Jay Platt, began to recruit players off the city park’s softball fields. A few brought their friends to play,too. On our team, was several Vietnam Vets, a Pan-American wrestling champ, and then a doctor… and I invited my next door neighbor… and you know what, they enjoyed
    playing in our league, and they loved the comradely of the fans, and brought their wives,their girlfriends,sisters,brothers and even a few brought their mothers to the games. That year we had to change sponsors when the owner of the bar that sponsored us, found his lover in the arms of our shortstop
    and dropped backing the team. Jay, found a new sponsor… Oil Can Harry’s, the best Disco in the city. They created our own Cheerleaders,that made the Dallas Cowboy’s group look tame! The non-gays enjoyed them as much as the gays, and the fans. At first, there were little complaints, when the Badlands team, made up of mostly straight players won the Pennant. In ’77, The first Gay World Series was played in S.F.,with the Badlands playing a team from N.Y.However, there were not as many fans in the stands that watched the regular season games. The Badlands beat N.Y. However, when they did not show up for a banquet in their honor, several teams and many gay players quit the CSL, and started a “for gays only” league that began in 1978. There was an incentive to win the flag that year, because the CSL, not the Gay Softball League received the invitation to represent S.F. in the Gay World Series at N.Y. , (not the new Gay Only league) in the fall. Mayor Moscone, threw OUT the first pitch of the ’78 season at Lang Field before 2,000 Fans. Fund raisers were held throughout the season, to send the Championship team to N.Y. I was the sports editor and photographer for a new gay newspaper, and our sports section kept tabs on both leagues. In July, Commissioners from the 5 Gay Leagues met in Toronto, and implemented a 80% gay/20% straight rule for the “78 Gay World Series. In sports, rules are always in place prior to the beginning of the season, and many of the CSL teams had more than the quota allowed. It was decided in an emergency meeting and our league voted to send the Championship team to the Big Apple, no matter the team’s gay/straight make-up! My team, Oil Can Harry’s wound up being the Wild Card, and in post season play we captured the Pennant. Prior to leaving for N.Y., we took part in the annual Police/ Gays Charity game in front of 8,000 fans. And we whipped the Fuzz, 18-0 and I was the winning pitcher(bragging rights). Mayor Moscone gave the Oiler’s a “Citation”, praising our team for the diversity of the players, and compared us to the diversity of the great city of S.F. However, be that as it may, when our plane landed, we were kicked OUT for having too many straights on our roster! Looking back, for me, it was the greatest time of my life. Our team consisted of sportsman ship, and the best of 2 worlds.
    I documented that whole season and the year… It was the time of Anita Bryant and the Briggs Initiative… Prop 6,that would of banned all gay teachers from their profession… just for being gay! A few months later,Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk were assassinated.I knew them both as friends. I recommend,looking at my blog as
    reading the “Citation” given to the players of Oil Can Harry’s… I am proud to have been a player and player rep for the team.

  34. TANK says

    Yeah, heterophobia…which has the same wrongness of homophobia due to all of the heterosexuals targeted out there because of their heterosexuality and beaten and murdered… and denied their human rights because of their heterosexuality by homosexuals….stripped and robbed them marriage rights, for example, in candyland…by bigoted majority of homosexuals.

    I’ve learned long ago that there are some gay men out there who despise themselves for being gay so deeply that they will justify any behavior that heterosexuals inflict upon gays, and blame gays for anything and everything that happens to them. These people are sad, but counterproductive, and need to be ignored universally.

  35. DR says

    Tank, you can make all the ad hominem attacks you want, that doesn’t change the fact that you clearly stated:

    “And doesn’t having heterosexual privilege disqualify you from membership in the lgbt community? Be that whether you’re a closeted gay man or lesbian woman married to a member of the opposite sex, or a bisexual man or woman married or dating opposite gender….or a transgender person who passes and gets male privilege and heterosexual privilege (adjust to fit)… Who gives a fuck about attraction and self-identification when tangible rights are on the line? Not me. Until all relationships are actually equal in the law, there is a very big difference in rights between members of our community based on nothing more than orientation or identity.”

    Your bigotry has been exposed for what it is. Have a wonderful day, Tank, enjoy your anger at the world.

  36. TANK says

    LOL! DR, can you actually find fault with that argument without calling me a bigot because I disagree with you? Can you do it without divorcing yourself from any commitment to gay rights and denying that heterosexism exists just like homophobia does? Because that’s really what you’re doing by overlooking the real inequality based on injustice and calling people who disagree with you bigots. Self identification (whether that be gay, bi, lesbian, or anything else) doesn’t matter terms of membership in a discriminated against class when tangible rights are denied people because of bigotry. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, for example, and closeted and married (which you might as well be, dr)…if you are extended heterosexual privilege, you enjoy the rights that otherwise would be denied you if you were an ACTUAL member of that group. Membership in a discriminated class is defined in terms of how it’s relevant: the discrimination. DUH! That’s largely why there’s a gay community, for chrissakes. And those aren’t just legal, as legal discrimination and does exist.

    Hey, if we lived in a post-homophobia world, I would be the side of the plaintiffs…but we don’t. And besides, this lawsuit’s going nowhere fast, as there certainly isn’t any legal precedent that would force a private club to accomodate anyone who wanted to join.

  37. TANK says

    And DR, I assume you’re white. SO given that this constitutes bigotry, you should pickett the united negro college fund for denying scholarships to “worthy” white candidates. After all, it’s just about merit, and these particular “traits” (skin color, etc) don’t matter…in your antireality.

  38. Paul R says

    I understand stacking the deck in many sports, but why would a straight guy care about winning a trophy in a gay league? I assume the teams don’t have any money to speak of, so it was purely to win. Are they that desperate for a trophy, any trophy? Why not play on a straight team?

    Even my gay-friendliest straight friends (and I have tons) would think it odd to be playing on a gay team, especially if it was equivalent to cheating to win.

  39. Bill says

    Tank, Jerry like the NCLR and most pathetic gay people don’t want gay people to determine their own fate. They want heterosexuals to always chose who gets to play sports and that almost always means gay people don’t get to play. They want gay people to be perpetually disadvantaged.

  40. Jim says

    Tank, get a life and educate yourself on what you’re actually saying re: the history of LGBT rights. We can’t do it without our straight allies. So enough with your NAGAA talking points.

    Bill, shame on you for calling out Jerry, an LGBT elder who helped create the very league you’re defending. Plus do you even know what the NCLR does? When was the last time you took a case to the Supreme Court to fight for our rights? Or write pro-gay legislation. Pretty sure it’s zero.

    My husband and I were going to support friends in their Ohio for the world series, but this mess has just turned so ugly. No thanks.

  41. TANK says

    It has nothing to do with wanting, bill. No one wants to be “perpetually disadvantaged”. It’s the way it is. Gay people are disadvantaged. Heterosexual space is all space that isn’t designated “gay space”. It’s the default. So exclusion of gays is found in all professional sports in the u.s. Unless you can name one openly gay professional baseball player, basketball player, or football player…how about hockey? How about figure skating…and no, johnny weir doesn’t count. Any while they were playing their respective sports? No….you can’t, because they don’t exist. So that’s how comfortable straight athletes are playing with gays…

    And no one’s saying that straight allies aren’t important, jim…that’s a nonsequitur. Unless you think that there’s no difference between a heterosexual ally and the gay people that she is supporting…really? Do you also deny heterosexual privilege? Try again to address the argument (that would require understanding it), i.e., what I actually wrote. You keep falling on your swords.

  42. Eric says

    A few points that I think need to be made:

    1. The precedent has already been set here, by the boy scout case, in which he scouts (a group that gets far more support from the government than any gay softball league does) was given the go-ahead to discriminate against whoever they want because they’re a “private group.” There’s virtually no chance that this lawsuit will affect the legal landscape in any way, and there’s virtually no chance that a court will rule that they have to allow bisexuals or straights if they don’t want to.

    2. Both Tank and Bill have valid points here. Tank is right that many bisexual people who are in straight relationships often get to enjoy heterosexual privilege in a way that someone in a gay relationship can’t. Bill is right that it’s wrong to assume that all bisexuals in opposite-sex relationships enjoy discrimination-free lives. I really don’t see why someone can’t agree with both points.

    3. In my experience, it’s very common for an ultracompetitive coach in a gay-themed league to ask a bunch of really talented straight players he’s friends with to play on his team as a favor. In all of the cases I’ve seen, though, everyone on the other teams has dealt with that situation like adults – by doing the best they can, and expressing some positivity about the fact that there are straight athletes who are happy to play on a gay team. The commenter who said they should make the tournament open only to the players who had been involved for years was on the right track.

  43. David S says

    I have played in the SFAAA league since it started . At it’s core the league DOES practice it 80/20 rule and enforces it to it’s max. I have been questioned as to my sexual preference and I have stated my self as BI-SEXUAL however i have been with my WIFE Kathy for over 14 years now so i guess i don’t count as even BI-SEXUAL even though when i first started in the league i lived and slept with a Man for 5 years!!! LOL but according to NAGAAA rules that does NOT count as gay. So after we won our division that year i was challenged and i lost so I was forced to play on another team which of course all is GREAT with the NAGAAA world because ME and MY SON now make up the 20% straights of our team. and we are the first Father and son to play in the league. A RULE IS A RULE it has now been revised to where BI-SEXUALS now count as Gay so congrats to the D2 team they struck a blow for the straight Guys but you still LOST because you were stripped of your 2nd place and rightfully so because at the time YOU BROKE THE RULES!! and remember THIS IS A GAY LEAGUE not a league where a STRAIGHT dominated team can come in and beat up on the Gay guys!!!! BUT one thing is for sure aside from my Wife and kids now i will NEVER be ashamed to say MY BEST FRIENDS are GAY!!! And I play in THEIR LEAGUE!!!!

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