San Francisco, CA - (NBC) - Three bisexual men from the San Francisco area have filed a lawsuit claiming they were discriminated against during the Gay Softball World Series.
The men reportedly filed the case Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle against the softball tournament's organizer.
It alleges that after another team complained, the alliance ruled the three men were "nongay," and took away the team's second-place finish. In the lawsuit, Steven Apilado, LaRon Charles and Jon Russ accuse the alliance of violating Washington state laws barring discrimination.
The alliance's attorney, says the lawsuit is unwarranted and that the three plaintiffs "were not discriminated against in any unlawful manner."
The lawsuit contends the tournament is a "public accommodation" that is open to the public and uses public softball fields.
Apilado, Charles and Russ played on a team called D2 that qualified for the 2008 Gay Softball World Series. Alliance rules say that each World Series team can have no more than two heterosexual players.
The lawsuit said that after another team complained, each of the three men was called into a conference room in front of more than 25 people and asked "personal and intrusive questions" about his sexual attractions and desires, purportedly to determine if he was heterosexual or gay.
The suit says the alliance ruled the three men were "nongay," stripped D2 of its second-place finish and recommended the three players be suspended from participating in the World Series for a year.
The men are asking for $75,000 each for emotional distress, reinstate D2's second-place finish, and end an alliance rule limiting the number of straight players on each team.