Three bisexual American men are suing after they were ruled to be not gay enough to play in a gay softball league.
Steven Apilado, LaRon Charles and Jon Russ are arguing that the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance discriminated against them during the Gay Softball World Series in August 2008.
The trio say they were marched into a changing room one by one to be questioned about their sexual desires in front of 25 people and when it was decided they were “non-gay”, their team was stripped of second place in the Seattle tournament.
Their lawsuit says their team, named D2, was found to have broken a rule that allowed no more than two heterosexual players on each team.
It added that they were subjected to “very intrusive, sexual questions” about their private lives. The team was subsequently disbanded.
The three men are each seeking $75,000 compensation for emotional distress. They also hope to reinstate D2’s second-place World Series finish.
Melanie Rowen, an attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is representing the three men, told the Seattle Times: “This case is just about treating everybody in the community equally … and not interrogating folks about whether they’re gay enough to play.”
Beth Allen, the attorney for the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, told the newspaper that the plaintiffs “were not discriminated against in any unlawful manner”.
She added that the alliance was entitled determine its membership as it is an private organisation.