There is an interesting discrimination lawsuit filed in Seattle where three bisexual men –Steven Apilado, LaRon Charles and Jon Russ — say that were barred by the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance from participating in the Gay Softball World Series because they were insufficiently gay. According to the lawsuit, the men are playing center field in their private life and need to pick a team — totally gay or straight.
Beth Allen, the alliance’s attorney, insisted that the lawsuit is frivolous and the men “were not discriminated against in any unlawful manner.” That is an interesting choice of words in denying discrimination “in any unlawful manner.” Allen insists that the organization has the right to be exclusive in its membership, a position that I agree with. The interesting aspects of that position is that it is consistent with the position of religious organizations in fighting for the right to discriminate against homosexuals and others, as discussed in this recent column.
Since the organization uses public fields, it could raise the same issues as discussed in the column where homosexual organizations have sought to bar religious-based groups that discriminate. The organization bars teams from having more than two heterosexual players in the World Series.
The plaintiffs played on a team called D2 that qualified for the 2008 Gay Softball World Series. They say that they were called into a large meeting and grilled about their personal predilections. Sounds like a Saturday Night skit. They say that they were told “This is the Gay World Series, not the Bisexual World Series” and classified as “non-gay.” And Pete Rose thought that he had it tough.
It is not clear if the association has a minor league where the men can come back when they are more gay.
The men are demanding $75,000 each for emotional distress as well as reinstatement on the team.
For the full story, here.