Three bisexual softball players were discriminated against due to their sexuality, and suspended from playing after a 2008 championship game. Sounds like the all-too-common discrimination against non-heterosexuals from athletic organizations, right? But this time, it was different.
The men were suspended from a gay athletic organization, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA), and their team was disqualified after its second-place finish in the championship game. The organization has a discriminatory rule limiting each team to only two heterosexuals. The three players were interrogated about their sexuality and voted “nongay” after self-identifying as bisexual.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has filed a lawsuit against the NAGAA on behalf of the three men. The NCLR is defending the bisexual players on the grounds that the NAGAA broke state public accommodations law.
While the NAGAA is probably allowed to exclude players on the basis of sexual orientation since they are a private organization, this type of discrimination is counterproductive and hypocritical. At a time when the LGBT community is battling for nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation, why would a gay organization want to discriminate against bisexuals or straight allies?
One would think that a group of gay men would understand how harmful it is to be interrogated about your private life and excluded due to sexuality. This exclusion of bisexual softball players is just another alarming instance of prejudice against bisexuals from the gay community.
The point of a gay softball organization is to provide an inclusive place to play ball. I hope the NAGAA will throw away their practices and embrace inclusion and acceptance — values that should be fundamental to everyone.
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