gay news, gay softball, gay sports, judghe coughenour

What Do the Boy Scouts, Westboro Baptist Church, and Gay Softball Have In Common?

gay news, gay softball, gay sports, judghe coughenour
Let's gay ball!

Each of their particular brands of discrimination are protected under the law.

A quick recap from Eli Sanders at the Slog:

(In short: Allegations of non-gay people from San Francisco sneaking onto a team at the 2008 Gay Softball World Series, followed by the convening of an on-field tribunal to examine the sexual preferences of said San Franciscans, followed by complaints of racism and more from said San Franciscans—and then, finally, a federal anti-discrimination lawsuit filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, on behalf of said San Franciscans, in Seattle, with Judge John C. Coughenour presiding.)

If you want to delve a little deeper, Sanders’ full piece on the controversy is right HERE.

Judge John C. Coughenour issued an order yesterday effectively stating that straight players who felt they had been discriminated against when their sexuality was questioned by a Gay Softball World Series tribunal are up gay creek without a paddle. The plaintiffs “failed to argue that there is a compelling state interest in allowing heterosexuals to play gay softball.”

Judge Coughenour cited two Supreme Court decisions gay blog readers are all too familiar with; the right of the Boy Scouts of America to kick homosexuals out of their organization, and the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to picket funerals. In short, the Gay Softball World Series may be jerks, but they are jerks who are legally protected in their mission to create a safe place for gay athletes to participate in.

While we are able to see both parties’ points of view, anyone who has ever watched a gayborhood transform into condos, a Chipotle and an Urban Outfitters or anyone who has ever been to a gay bar in Vancouver can attest, when straight people pour into gay spaces, it has the obvious result of diluting what made the place so great in the first place.

Which isn’t to say that we don’t respect and admire all of the straights that have our backs (and fronts). It’s just sometimes, we want a gay bar to be a gay bar, or a gay softball league to be a gay softball league.

No harm, no foul?

  • Amen. Sometimes I just do not want to deal with straight people.

  • What about Kinsey-Scale 4s or 5s? Can they play, or are they not gay enough?

  • I’m straight and I agree with you. (Even though I don’t agree with the two Supreme Court decisions that were cited by the judge). Just like men’s clubs have the right to deny women entrance based on gender, and other clubs and sports teams have the right to deny entrance based on age, sexual orientation falls into the same catagory. It’s not (always) discrimination and if it’s not, it’s legal. Sometimes men just want to be around men, women around women, and gays around gays. It’s a natural human want and need to be around people like you, whether that is based on gender, age or sexual orientation.

    Okay, i hope I explained myself clearly. 🙂 I don’t usually respond to these things.

  • In fact, this ‘is’ discrimination. Which isn’t to say it should be illegal or should necessarily stop, but let’s be clear: When you restrict participation based on exclusive criteria, you are discriminating against everyone who does not meet that criteria.

    Personally, I find this instance of discrimination to be idiotic. Legal, and well within the league’s right’s as a private entity, but still counterproductive to the gay community as a whole. If we want to be accepted for who we are, we shouldn’t be alienating people who clearly are willing to accept their fellow team-mates. So what if they’re straight? As long as they’re not haters, let’em hit the damn ball.

  • ShowMeGuy

    Awesome.  Back in the 1990’s, there was an apartment building with new management….gay management…..and they started to reject requests for rentals from straight men and heterosexual couples.  They would not renew leases for them either.  Only gay men and single straight women were going to be living there.   The straight men and married couples cried.  Courts said no laws being broken……because…..no laws were being broken.
    Awesome. Pointless discrimination is still discrimination, even when it is on the other foot.   Those shoes don’t feel so good, now do they, straight folks?

  • I think Christopher’s got the crux of my argument:  It isn’t right for US to be excluded for who we are, so why is it right for us to kick out straights because THEY were born that way? 

    Respect and inclusion is a two way street, and if we’re going to kick people who WANT to be our friends out of our lives, and then quote two of the most homophobic rulings from the Supreme Court as our defense… well, that’s not the Gay Pride I signed up for.

  • As a recovering hate addict, I do empathize with the members of the Westboro Baptist Church. The elders become enablers and influence the children to use vitriolic language. They become isolated because many of us show hatred towards them so passionately. What would help is if the sexually liberated community came together and supported their recovery from hate-dependence.  

  • Anonymous

    Any heterosexuals trying to sneak into the homosexual softball games is basically a homosexual in the making. Eventually they will choose to be an out-of-the-closet homosexual. Just be aware that the wrath of God is upon all those who choose this lifestyle.

  • I’m going to assume you were just very busy and so completely misread the complaint and subsequent lawsuit.  So let me clear up the situation for you. 

    This has Nothing to do with any so-called “Straight People”. 
     
    The people in question aren’t “Straight”.  The men are bisexual, you know the “B” in LGBT?  You may have heard of us, the majority of people it in the greater Queer Community?

    Bisexual people are explicitly invited to be part of the sports league.  Despite the catch-all title of “Gay” you may seen thrown about in the media, the league’s mission statement explicitly state that is actually there for ALL non-straight people, that would be gay men, lesbian women and also bisexual and trans folk.  Most of the teams in the league actually abide by the rules and have happily had teams that include the entire LGBT Rainbow for years with no trouble at all. 
     
    This current situation happened because a few (not all) members as well as many of the (largely) self-appointed “leaders” of the softball league in a major show of bad sportsmanship threw a temper tantrum when the “usual suspects” did not win.  These sore losers started looking around for something (other than the actual explanation, that they had simply been out-played by another team) to blame. 
     
    What they hit on was that some of the players on the winning team must be straight!! Because we all know that no non-straight men actually like/are good at sports!  Right?

    This group of whiners then took it upon themselves to rewrite the definition of bisexual from:
     
    “people with the capacity to be attracted to/form relationships with people of the same gender as well as different gender than themselves” to something more along the lines of: “people I personally think are cute and that I’d like to have sex with”.  Then this pack of fools grabbed all the people they had decided weren’t “gay-enough” (i.e. people who are both good at sports AND who Id as bisexual) and in front of an impromptu  kangaroo court they first ask personal questions about what the people liked to do in bed and then had everyone vote on “queer” or “no queer enough”. 
     
    And you know what?  Somehow all the “cute white boys” were voted “gay enough” and all the people of color weren’t! 
     
    Now lets all be Real Clear here.  Every Single One to these men stood up first in front of a room packed with ball-players, officials, families, reporters and assorted spectators and assorted hangers-on AND then later stood up in court and Very Publicly said “Hell yeah! I’m a big ol’ homo and proud of it!”  We aren’t talking about some republican politician or church operative or just some nervous nellie hiding in a closet somewhere.  We are talking about a bunch of people who were already out, proud and active in the community. 
     
    And yet these people, who’s little amateur athletics ball-club didn’t win a tournament one year took it upon themselves to vote people out of the LGBT Community just so there ball-team could take home a 1st place trophy.  *SMH*
     
    So is it any wonder that the good, decent and fair-minded people in the LGBT Community are outraged?  And that it was the National Center for Lesbian Rights who after trying and failing to get a mediated settlement  were the people who filed suite?

  • Alex Cullen

    I disagree.  We should be fighting discrimination on all fronts.  I think if, as a community, we decide  it is okay to make someone an outcast because they are straight, we lose all our credibility.  The only way to realize true equality is to treat everyone equal, gay or straight.  The fact that straight men had the confidence to join a gay team in the first place makes them some of the coolest people in my book.  Their lack of homophobia and ability to see past sexual orientation is a sign that maybe things really are changing for the better in this country.  And I think that this team has actually taken a step backwards in our fight by emphasizing the differences between their gay and straight players and fighting to keep them segregated.

  • Steve Cardinal

    If you have had and enjoyed gay sex to the point where once was not enough, you qualify. To some, that’s a 2, to others, a 3…

  • Steve Cardinal

    I don’t think not being homophobic should be commended. That’s the same as rewarding someone for not committing murder. People should just not be homophobic. But that isn’t the point. There are already baseball clubs out there that allow both gay or straight players, or both male and female players, there’s an all women’s league and an all man’s league, and you know there’s an all-straight league out there somewhere. Non-homophobic straight people can play in a co-ed league or a co-sexuality league or a straight league, they don’t need to be able to join a gay league. This isn’t about segregation, it’s a private club with admission requirements.

  • Ben Leo Alt

    I have to agree that we need things that are just gay. Being gay, unlike race, is something that emotionally connections us to other gay people, which is why bars and other meetup places should be exclusive. As for a softball (or any sports) league, having a gay-exclusive league is something that I think we need temporarily. Sports have been been known to be very homophobic, and in general aren’t a safe place for someone openly gay, so a league specifically for gay people is needed. However, when sports become less homophobic and safer, then the need for such a league will be null and void. It’s like having a black sports league. When there was racism in sports, they needed it, now they don’t.

  • Hot Stuff

    If this were the other way around (gay players being kicked out of a straight softball team – if a straight softball team even EXISTED we’d be all over it calling it offensive and such) we’d be attacking it like mad.

    Personally, I think it shouldn’t be a ‘gay softball’ group, but a ‘pro-gay softball group’, people who are gay or who are straight and support gay rights or so on.
    I dunno, some people here will disagree with me, but discrimination and exclusion for sexual orientation is wrong, in BOTH directions.

  • Hot Stuff

    So if a club had ‘being straight’ as an ‘admission requirement’ none of us would bat an eye or complain?

    No, of course we would complain. It’s still discrimination. They were basically saying “You aren’t gay, so you can’t be in our group.”Replace the word ‘gay’ with ‘straight’ and see how many of us would be outraged.

    Discrimination has to stop – in both directions.

  • Hot Stuff

    What you just said; replace the word ‘straight’ with gay and imagine hearing that from a straight guy.

    We’d call him a homophobic pig; is what you just said any better than what the imaginary straight guy said?

  • Steve Cardinal

    There’s absolutely no way to stop all discrimination. It is completely impossible. With that being said, all groups of people should be able to have private clubs. If no straight person on earth was allowed to play baseball, that would be discrimination. Not allowing a straight person to play in one baseball club is not quite the same, because there are hundreds of other baseball clubs they can join.