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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: NAGAAA feels vindicated in settlement

We deeply appreciate your coverage on the settlement of the lawsuit filed against NAGAAA by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) calling into question the legality of limiting the participation of non-LGBT persons in the Gay Softball World Series (GSWS).

In response to the article, we would like to reiterate NAGAAA’s commitment to both welcoming and encouraging inclusion and diversity. It is one of our core values.

It is also important to maintain both the spirit and welcoming culture LGBT athletes experience and enjoy at the GSWS.

We continue to believe (and the courts have upheld) that we have the legal right to define our organization’s participation.

Fortunately, judgments in three key pre-trial motions have given iron-clad strength to right of self-governance, leaving only the question of the treatment of the protesters themselves during the protest process.

While clearly winning on the legal rights of our organization to operate within the parameters we ourselves define, the NAGAAA executive committee determined it to be in our organization’s best interests to settle the non-legal claims raised by the plaintiffs and have therefore made the following concessions:

    1. NAGAAA recognizes that the disqualification of the San Francisco D2 team was not consistent with our intention of being inclusive of bisexual players and conducting its Protest Hearings in a manner that does not cause undue offense; and

    2. NAGAAA confirms that its records will be amended to reflect the participation of the Plaintiffs and their team in the 2008 GSWS, including the results of all games played by D2, and that D2 is recognized as a second place winner, and will be awarded a second place trophy, for that Series.

We are pleased the plaintiffs are satisfied and feel strongly that we as an organization have been vindicated. We are also pleased to be able to put this matter to rest, once and for all.

Sincerely,

Roy Melani
Commissioner of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance
(NAGAAA)