Gay softball league settles out of court with bisexual players

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Three men on a team disqualified from the 2008 Gay Softball World Series because it was thought to have too many straight players have been paid an undisclosed sum by the organisers, AP reports.

The team, D2, who play in San Francisco, have also been awarded the trophy denied to them when officials suspected they had more than the limit of two straight players after coming second in the tournament.

Stephen Apilado, Laron Charles and John Russ, who settled with the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance this week, say they are bisexual.

In minuted meetings, Charles acknowledged being married to a woman and Apilado said he had stronger feelings towards members of the opposite sex than his own.

The trio also sought to test whether the rule limiting the number of straight players was legal.

In his pre-trial ruling, U.S. District Judge John Coughenour said it was constitutional to allow the organisation to limit the number of straight players if it was in order to promote LGBT people in sport.

Roy Melani, the Commissioner of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance which organises the event, said: “It’s the Gay Softball World Series.

“It’s important we defend our right to maintain that identity. How else could we send our message that openly LGBT athletes can excel at team sports? We are a thriving and vibrant community. We compete. We socialize. We look after each other.”

He said if the players had identified themselves as bisexual from the start, “the lawsuit would never have happened”.