Gay Softball World Series Lawsuits Lead to Unclear Determinations of Heterosexuality

How gay is "gay enough"? That's for the courts to decide.

Gay Softball World Series Lawsuits Lead to Unclear Determinations of HeterosexualityThe court, in this instance, is a United States District Court in Seattle, which will determine the level of discrimination for three men deemed too heterosexual for the Gay Softball World Series.

A report Thursday in the New York Times details the case of the three men — Steven Apilado, LaRon Charles and Jon Russ — who were deemed "nongay" in a 2008 court case. That was despite one of the players' refusing to share his sexual orientation, one answering yes to both homosexual and heterosexual definitions and the other claiming he was bisexual.

As a result, their team had to forfeit its second-place finish in the '08 competition. Now, they're filing a suit, looking for $75,000 in emotional damages, as well as the restoration of the team's second-place finish.

"Some of the things the plaintiffs have said are just not true," chief defense counsel Roger Leishman told the Times. "They characterize it as a windowless room. It wasn't. They characterized the questions as intrusive. They weren't. It's the Gay Softball World Series. It's not shocking that someone would ask whether or not you're gay."

The suit raises questions about definitions of homosexuality and exposes flaws in leagues and organizations that try to exclude heterosexuals.

"How do you prove if someone is gay or straight? One of the most disturbing things about the league’s position in this case is that there's only one way of being gay, or one view of being gay," Christopher Stoll of the National Center for Lesbian Rights told the Times. "The definition did not include bisexual, or transgendered. Our clients break the stereotypes of what gay is supposed to be."

Photo: Flickr/WUWM FM 89.7

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