This is a story rife with such mind-melding stupidity and hypocrisy that I really don’t want to recount it in all its nauseating detail. To be brief, there is an organization called The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, and it oversees gay softball leagues in dozens of U.S. cities.It also runs an annual tournament called the Gay Softball World Series. Now it is in court, as three men filed a lawsuit complaining that their team’s second-place finish in the 2008 Series was unfairly nullified because they are bisexual, not gay, and thus caused their team to exceed the limit of two non-gay players.
Fascinating. And why, oh why, are there athletic teams in the United States of America that restrict their roster according to who the athletes have sex with? Why are not all self-respecting, intelligent, ethical gay Americans telling these organizations that they are an embarrassment and a disgrace to the very values gay rights advocates are fighting for in more substantive realms, like marriage, the priesthood, and corporate America?
U.S. District Judge John Coughenour ruled this week that the NAGAAA has a First Amendment right to limit the number of heterosexual players, much as the Boy Scouts have a constitutional right to exclude gays. That certainly seems…hey, wait a minute. Don’t gay rights advocate detest the Boy Scouts of America for just this reason? So why is a gay organization behaving like the Boy Scouts?
I’m looking over the impassioned arguments in favor of gay marriage, manifestos about equality, and the stigma of “separate by equal” and tearing down barriers. Now, thanks to discovering gay softball leagues, I know these same anti-discrimination advocates actually aren’t against discrimination, only discrimination where they aren’t calling the shots.
The very existence of softball teams that reject players based on who they lust after—or is it just who they fuck?—is so extraordinarily offensive on so many levels. It is, of course, discriminatory, and therefore bigoted and biased. It is hypocritical, unless the organizers have no problem with heterosexuals making gays second class citizens. It shows a stunning lack of integrity, and it is utterly stupid. I know that the gay community is no more monolithic than other groups, but I am only half facetious when I say that I sometimes wish that any minority group permitting and encouraging organizations, competitions, and honors that they would attack as un-American and wrong if they were the ones being excluded, rather than doing the excluding, should be statutorily prevented from complaining about any discrimination against their own members until they live by the principles they are demanding be applied to them. We don’t tolerate award shows for white actors only, and it is long past the time when we should tolerate awards restricted to black entertainers….yet there they are, on television every year. There are black athlete awards and Hispanic entertainer awards too, and all of them are offensive in their hypocrisy and shamelessness. They give white bigots an opportunity to say, “See? They’re no different than we are! They just can get away with it.” And to be truthful, it is hard to argue with them.
But the stupidity and hypocrisy of the gay softball leagues are way beyond the silly awards based on skin color. Here is a selection from an article about the lawsuit. What kind of person could read this without collapsing in sorrowful laughter, or being embarrassed for the mentally and ethically-deficient state of mind it represents? Try it:
“The San Francisco-based team the men played on, D2, was disqualified after others at the tournament questioned their sexuality and filed a protest. Under questioning, the men, Stephen Apilado, Laron Charles and John Russ, were evasive or declined to discuss their sexuality, according to the organization. For example, minutes of the hearing say that Charles claimed to be gay but acknowledged being married to a woman, and Apilado initially said he was both gay and straight but then acknowledged being more attracted to women. The minutes say rumors had persisted for years about whether D2 was stacking its team with straight ringers. In addition to the three plaintiffs, the team had two designated straight players. The organization says it has always considered bisexuals to meet the definition of “gay” for roster purposes, but the minutes also note that one official involved in the decision to disqualify D2 commented that “this is not a bisexual world series. This is a gay world series.”
Oh, shut up.
It’s softball, and this is the United States of America, where citizens should be able to marry who they love, be hired according to their skills, judged by the content of their character, and play any damn game they want anywhere they want, as long as they are good enough to play it. If heterosexuals-only teams are intolerable, and they are, then gay-only teams are equally intolerable.
Equality, mutual respect and fairness. Those who won’t practice it have a lot of nerve demanding it.