Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sauce for the gander

Well, now, this is interesting:

Three bisexual men are suing a national gay-athletic organization, saying they were discriminated against during the Gay Softball World Series held in the Seattle area two years ago.

The three Bay Area men say the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance in essence deemed them not gay enough to participate in the series.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle accuses the alliance of violating Washington state laws barring discrimination. The alliance organizes the annual Gay Softball World Series.

Beth Allen, the alliance's attorney, said the lawsuit is unwarranted and that the three plaintiffs "were not discriminated against in any unlawful manner."

In any case, Allen said, the alliance is a private organization and, as such, can determine its membership based on its goals.

Whether the alliance is public or private will likely have to be determined in court, since the plaintiffs characterize the alliance as a "public accommodation" that's open to the public and uses public softball fields. [...]

Each of the three plaintiffs was called into a conference room in front of more than 25 people, and was asked "personal and intrusive questions" about his sexual attractions and desires, purportedly to determine if the player was heterosexual or gay, the lawsuit alleges. The alliance has no category or definition for bisexual or transgender people in its rules, the plaintiff's attorney said.

At one point during the proceedings, the lawsuit alleges, one of the plaintiffs was told: "This is the Gay World Series, not the Bisexual World Series."

The alliance ruled the three men were "nongay," stripped D2 of its second-place finish and recommended that the three players be suspended from participating in the World Series for a year, according to the suit.

The men are asking for $75,000 each for emotional distress. They're also seeking to invalidate the alliance's findings on the men's sexual orientations and to reinstate D2's second-place World Series finish.

See, now, I'd tend to agree with the alliance, though our views about the morality of homosexual sex are worlds apart. If they're a private organization, then they have the right to set the rules about who is allowed to join their teams.

The problem is that the homosexual community have been the ones insisting that the Boy Scouts of America are a "public accommodation" and should be kicked off of public lands, fields, etc. for their continuing practice of barring homosexual Scout leaders. If they're going to use public facilities, argue the gay activists, then they can't bar homosexuals from acting as Scout leaders.

But that kind of rule is a double-edged sword when applied to gay groups wishing to set their own memberships. By the gay community's own arguments against the Boy Scouts, unless the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance is willing to rent or buy private land on which to hold their practices and games, they are engaging in an unjust and possibly illegal discrimination to forbid bisexuals, transgendered people, or even heterosexuals from joining their teams.

It's funny, but it doesn't seem to have occurred to same-sex advocates that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander--and what is sauce for one sort of gander is sauce for any other sort. If the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance is forced to choose between renting private fields or allowing as many heterosexuals/bisexuals/etc. to join their teams as request to join, then they'll be in pretty much the same position that gay activists have been trying to put the Boy Scouts in all these years.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Boy Scouts of America v. Dale was the first thing I thought of, even before you referred to it. It is, of course, the obvious case for the Gay World Series group to rely upon. And its excellent law: it is simply none of the government's business to tell a private organization what their membership criteria should be. One of those cases where I was thankful for Justice Scalia and abhorred the dissent from Justice Stevens. All the justices have their uses. I could care less whether the Boy Scouts admit gay men to leadership roles, but I care a lot about freedom of association.

cricket said...

Siarlys: How much less could you care?

BTW, IIRC, Didn't the Gays start their own boy scouts after that decision?

chimakuni said...

Not homosexual enough! This is rich! Wonder how much of our tax dollars is going to be spent on a cat fight...

Pauli said...

Doesn't the acknowledgement that "bisexuals" even exist throw serious doubt on the existence of a so-called "gay gene"? It's all a big joke; some guys just go after anything that moves, that's all.

Pauli said...

Doesn't the acknowledgement that "bisexuals" even exist throw serious doubt on the existence of a so-called "gay gene"? It's all a big joke; some guys just go after anything that moves, that's all.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I don't know if gays started their own Boy Scouts -- I could care less about that too. (Its a colloquial expression in common English usage, in case this had escaped you.) As I recall, the Boy Scouts themselves tried to start a parallel organization that would accepts gays, but apparently neither self-consciously gay or non-gay young men were really interested. Anyone has a right to start a private organization for any purpose that is not illegal, and set their own membership requirements. No reason there can't be fifty different scouting organizations.

When Rod Dreher posed the question, would you cure a child of Down's Syndrome if a cure was available (a no-brainer in my seldom humble opinion, of course I would), Geoff G. offered a surprise opinion on whether he would have wanted a "cure" for being gay. He said, considering the social pains and obstacles of being gay, he might well accept or recommend it. I doubt very much that EVERY person attracted to their own gender made a CHOICE, but I doubt that it is simply inborn either. Like many things people like to reduce to political slogans, I suspect it is the result of a complex of reasons, one or more of which may have had an impact on any given individual.