Law - Gay, LGBT | News | Softball

Bisexual Players Settle Lawsuit Against Gay Softball League for Undisclosed Sum, Return of Second-Place Title

D2

You may recall the lawsuit brought against the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) by three bisexual softball players and the NCLR alleging that NAGAAA discriminated by stripping the players' team of their second place finish in the Gay World Series after discovering the players were bisexual.

The players have now settled for an undisclosed sum, and the return of their second place trophy.

NCLR discusses the suit and the settlement in a press release:

The players were called into a conference room, where they were questioned in front of more than 25 people, most of them strangers, about their sexual orientations and private lives. The players were forced to answer whether they were “predominantly” interested in men or women, without being given the option of answering that they were bisexual. In response to a player’s statement that he was attracted to both men and women, a NAGAAA member who was in the room stated, “this is not a bisexual world series—this is a gay world series.” NAGAAA’s protest committee voted that the three plaintiffs were “believed to be heterosexual,” and their team was disqualified from its second place finish.

In the settlement, NAGAAA recognized that disqualifying the players from the 2008 tournament was not consistent with NAGAAA’s intention of being inclusive of bisexual players. NAGAAA now recognizes the players’ team—D2—as a second-place winner of the 2008 Gay Softball World Series, and will award the team a second-place trophy. In the settlement, NAGAAA also expressed regret at the impact the 2008 protest hearing process had on the players and their team. NAGAAA confirmed that its records will be amended to reflect the players’ participation in 2008, including the results of all games played by their team.

The players recognize positive advances made by NAGAAA, which in 2011 changed its rules to be fully inclusive of all bisexual and transgender players. The rule changes permit an unlimited number of bisexual or transgender players to participate on a Gay Softball World Series team.

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Comments

  1. This is as good a demonstration as any of the absurdity of trying to force the complexities of an individual's sexuality into a nice, tidy little box with a label......

    The day cannot come soon enough when the whole concept of "gay" and "straight" becomes totally obsolete.....

    Posted by: Rick | Nov 28, 2011 5:55:07 PM


  2. The day cannot come soon enough when Andy bans Rick from posting his insane ramblings on this site.

    Posted by: endo | Nov 28, 2011 6:20:29 PM


  3. NAGAAA, please!

    Posted by: victor | Nov 28, 2011 6:22:37 PM


  4. Straight players can play on IGRAB rugby teams, and I haven't seen a problem with it. I like the idea of being gay-inclusive, but it seems stupid to me to try and exclude gay-friendly bi/straight players. My rugby team has several straight players, and they're great teammates.

    Posted by: JD | Nov 28, 2011 6:33:44 PM


  5. OMG Victor! That was funny.

    Posted by: IABear | Nov 28, 2011 6:54:51 PM


  6. Goodness.
    I still recall, very clearly, the debates among lesbians back in the 1980's about whether they shouldn't dump us gay men and go it alone. Our 'contamination' with Aids was causing their freedom movement problems.
    Those few, er, ladies, were overruled by women who had bigger hearts.
    The same applied when we opened ourselves to the transgender.
    I truly am not crazy about bisexuals. To put it mildly. That does not change the fact that, they, too, are part of our queer community.
    So - time to put aside the silly quotas.

    Posted by: enough already | Nov 28, 2011 7:07:18 PM


  7. This is really not about inclusion but about what is known as "ringers". In other words, the teams will now be allowed to fill their rosters with heterosexual ball players in order to win championships. While this ruling was expected, there are those of us who lament the loss of the gay identity in yet another area.

    Posted by: Kenneth H. | Nov 28, 2011 7:54:08 PM


  8. Enough Already - you're not crazy about bisexuals? I must say that as a bisexual I have received most of my discrimination at the hands of the LGBT community. Even more so than straights who assume that I'm a lesbian. It is the LGBT who seem to think that I am just curious, not serious in a relationship. And that I will just drop my girlfriend as soon as a man comes along - why not another woman? Well, finally after eleven years together they have stopped. Why does my sexuality bother you? Does the fact that I still notice if a man is nice looking that I should be excluded from our community?

    Posted by: Beth | Nov 28, 2011 8:25:24 PM


  9. Kenneth: the GAY IDENTITY in softeball??? I wasn't aware of it. Let us rise above the examples set by generations of heterosexual bigots, and welcome with open arms all who want to be a part of us!

    Posted by: stickick | Nov 28, 2011 8:25:27 PM


  10. There is also the lost idea of a safe space, which means that the reason these organizations were formed was to provide a safe space for gays to meet each other. No matter how understanding a straight person is, there is something to be said for a minority person having a safe space.

    Posted by: facts | Nov 28, 2011 8:28:19 PM


  11. I've played on gay teams for two different sports In both cases, we had several members who were bisexual and several who were straight. None of them made a deal about the fact they weren't gay; in fact, you would never have known unless you knew them enough to learn intimate details.
    I don't care if they are gay, straight or bi.
    They were always right there as one of "us," participating fully, promoting equality for gay people during fundraisers or any consciousness-raising activities we had.
    It IS a "safe space" if it is filled with nothing but people who are either gay or who do not have any negative perception about the fact they're likely to be mistaken for gay for being on a gay team.
    It's no one's business to demand to know anyone else's orientation.

    Posted by: GregV | Nov 28, 2011 8:59:15 PM


  12. What happens if everyone on the team wants to be a pitcher or a catcher? And if there's a sadist is he automatically the designated hitter?

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Nov 28, 2011 9:00:30 PM


  13. Wait, they were ringers? Because they were straight? So does that mean straight guys are just better because they are straight? So accordingly, we play like wimps or something? Please, drop the quotas. If a straight wants to play on a gay team, in a gay league.. All the more power to em!
    And what's this about a "safe" place? It's less safe because a straight guy is there? A straight guy who chose to play on a gay team in a gay league? Personally, I feel safer knowing I have straight allies watching my back!

    Posted by: Trace | Nov 28, 2011 10:26:53 PM


  14. for me the emphasis is on LOVE in gay relationships. I really don't care if what people do in bed with others.

    SO, to the all the 'bisexuals' out there, you can call yourself what ever you want. It really doesn't make a difference. I am not interested in representing your ideals of about sexuality or fluidity. They are not relevant in modern gay sensibility and representation.

    I'm interested in representing same sex partnership and relationships. If you cannot make those commitments with either a man or woman, it has nothing to do with gay rights or domestic partnerships.

    Posted by: we | Nov 28, 2011 10:29:46 PM


  15. the softball team should be about inclusiveness. Straights should be allowed to play.

    Posted by: we | Nov 28, 2011 10:31:51 PM


  16. My BF plays for the big apple league and let me tell you a lot of these teams fill up their team with straight players in order to win championships. It's ok to have straight friends but when your taking the spots of other gay people just to win games I have an issue.

    Posted by: James | Nov 28, 2011 10:32:38 PM


  17. This story reminds me of the time I played on the 1978 Championship Oil Can Harry's team in San Francisco. We won the right to represent S.F. in the Gay World Series, and when we arrived in New York, we were kicked OUT for having too many straights on our roster.

    My teammates were Vietnam Vets,City Firemen,a doctor, teacher and various other occupations. IT WAS THE TIME OF ANITA BRYANT
    AND THE BRIGGS INITIATIVE that if passed would of given the right to fire all gay teachers. My teammates brought their wives, girlfriends, parents and kids and friends to our games and supported us in out fight to end bigotry.

    I HAVE POSTED ON MY BLOG the complete story of the best time of my life. My teammates were the greatest... as was Mayor Moscone who gave us a Citation for the great diversity of our team, who he said truly represented the diversity that made San Francisco a GREAT city.PLEASE VISIT AND READ THAT CITATION, and while your there visit my archives of life in S.F in the 1970s. www.jerrypritikin.blogspot.com

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin aka The Bleacher Preacher | Nov 29, 2011 2:49:33 AM


  18. Once again great post. You seem to have a good understanding of these themes.When I entering your blog,I felt this . Come on and keep writting your blog will be more attractive. To Your Success!

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  19. This was a very ugly episode in the history of the GLBT movement and made a laughing stock out of all of us. One conservative web site was having a field day at our expense, calling us Nazis and social engineers.

    If anything, I think bisexual men represent true liberation for the concept of same-sex sexuality. That's because they can't be segregated, either physically or conceptually. Unlike bisexual women, who pander to the fantasies of sexist and homophobic men, bisexual men are their own individuals.

    Posted by: jason | Nov 29, 2011 6:54:29 AM


  20. "Wait, they were ringers? Because they were straight? So does that mean straight guys are just better because they are straight?"

    No, of course not. It's simple: there's a vastly larger pool of good players who are straight to choose from than there is a pool of good gay players. When I played in a league in the 80's, the ringers often times had experience at the college or minor league level, which is grossly unfair.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Nov 29, 2011 10:44:40 AM


  21. Do colleges and the minor leagues ban gay people from playing? Just as in the general population, there are more straights than gays. Many gays, who complain of opposing teams stacking their rosters with straights, are sore losers. There are many different levels of play in NAGAA, enough to accomadate players of all skill levels. If you are a top tier softball player, you should be competing with other top tier athletes, regardless of sexual orientation. If you are on a losing team, don't complain about your opponents' orientations, complain about how the league is rating the players. There is a NAGAA forum for "protesting" a roster that is too good for a given division, and lets not be hypocrites and bigots by scapegoating our straight allies.

    Posted by: BASTIEN | Nov 29, 2011 1:55:12 PM


  22. Straight people (Im sorry, I mean 'bisexuals')
    should not be allowed to play if gay people can be discriminated against. This is such a hypocrisy. Its ok to discriminate against gay people, but gay must be forced to allow straight people in everything WE do.

    Posted by: Drew | Nov 29, 2011 4:31:14 PM


  23. In the annals of stupid lawsuits, this one is right up there. It might not occur to many on this site that what the league does is not about what we would like them to do, but about what they would like to do. Just as you are free to start your own blog if you don't like TR, you are free to start your own softball league with whatever mix of players you like. The idea that this league has to conform to your wishes is narcissism at its worst. It also does not matter how wonderful your own sports league or how great the gay-ally str8 players are. There is nothing to stop bi softball players from forming their own league either. There's no right to play softball, and no tort in not being allowed to play for a particular league. If they feel there was a breach of contract or fraud they would need to present that case instead of this one. You are also free to criticize their recruitment policy, but not free to interfere.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 29, 2011 4:41:28 PM


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