Gay Softball League Responds to Lawsuit

BY Julie Bolcer

April 23 2010 10:25 AM ET

The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) has published an open letter in response to a discrimination lawsuit filed by three bisexual players. In the letter, the NAGAAA compares itself to other groups that organize around a “commonality,” such as softball leagues for African-Americans and Native Americans.

On Tuesday, the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a lawsuit seeking in excess of $225,000 damages from NAGAAA on behalf of the Bay Area players. The men say they were disqualified after a 2008 championship game when the league found them to be “nongay.”

NAGAAA defended the decision in parts of the open letter.

“In 1977 NAGAAA was founded as a private organization with the mission of fostering a safe place for Gay/Lesbian softball players to play and compete in softball,” the letter reads. “We believe that team sports can offer opportunities for personal enrichment, and a sense of community that is not available otherwise. It is not unlike other groups whom choose to organize around a commonality such as the African American Softball Assoc., or the Native American Indian Softball Assoc. Our group recognizes that in the arena of team sports, homophobia is still all too common. Almost daily it seems, one hears or reads of another gay bashing, often resulting in fatal outcomes. These tragedies serve as a reminder of our mission to provide a safe place for Gay/Lesbian players to enjoy competition while not compromising their true identity."





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