SEATTLE (CN) - Three San Francisco men say they were kicked out of the Gay Softball World Series because organizers decided they aren't gay enough, telling them, "This is the Gay World Series, not the Bisexual World Series." North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance rules allow "no more than two heterosexual players" per team.
The men say that when a rival team challenged their sexuality, they were "summoned to a hearing room to answer questions about their sexual interests or attractions, purportedly to determine their sexual orientation, in front of a group of more than twenty-five people, many of whom plaintiffs did not know."
In their federal complaint, Steven Apilado, LaRon Charles and Jon Russ say they "were asked to state whether they were 'predominantly' sexually attracted to men or to women."
The men say that during the hearing, they and the Protest Committee members all expressed uncertainty and confusion about the meaning of the terms "heterosexual" and "gay" as defined by the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, or NAGAAA.
At least one player answered "Yes" when asked if he was "predominantly attracted to the same sex" and when asked if he was "predominantly attracted to the opposite sex."
The men say that as the NAGAAA's intrusive questioning continued, their initial responses were deemed unsatisfactory. All three men say they were pressured to tell the NAGAAA committee more about their sexual interest in men and in women.
Plaintiff Charles says he asked whether he could say that he was bisexual, and was told, "'This is the Gay World Series, not the Bisexual World Series.'"
NAGAAA ruled that the men are "non-gay" and that their team had violated the two-heterosexual-players rule. The name of their team is D2.
The team was disqualified from the Seattle World Series and ordered to forfeit victories and its second-place standing.
The NAGAAA also recommended that the three men be suspended for a minimum of one year from participation in World Series and NAGAAA Open Division events, according to the complaint.
The plaintiffs say the NAGAAA violated Washington State's laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation and race.
Plaintiffs Charles and Russ are African-American; Apilado is African-American and Filipino.
The men seek general and special damages of $75,000 each, alleging economic and emotional distress, breach of contract and invasion of privacy.
They also want the NAGAAA to suspend its rule limiting the number of straight players, remove their team's disqualification, dismiss any penalties and give the team its second place trophy for the 2008 Seattle Gay World Series.
The complaint was filed by Suzanne Thomas with K & L Gates.