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NCLR’s Sports Project aims to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender players, coaches, and administrators receive fair and equal treatment—free of discrimination. Founded in 2001, the Sports Project has litigated cases on behalf of LGBTQ athletes and coaches, advised schools and athletic associations, and convened key coalitions to combat homophobia and transphobia in sports. NCLR co-founded and participates in a coalition of LGBTQ sports leaders from across the country that works to combat anti-LGBTQ bias in sports. The coalition brings together college and professional athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, political figures, LGBTQ advocates and sports organizations to examine best practices, troubleshoot common problems, and develop strategies to tackles anti-LGBTQ bias at every competition level.


Legislation & Policy

Common Ground Initiative


NCLR partners with the NCAA in the Common Ground Initiative to increase dialogue at conservative religious colleges about how LGBTQ inclusion and respect for religion can operate together to create safer, healthier, and more inclusive environments for student athletes—and by extension for all students.


Cases & Advocacy

Hecox v. Little


In 2020, Idaho Governor Brad Little signed into law HB 500 – the so-called “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” – making Idaho the first state to pass a law banning transgender athletes from participating in sports.



Press Release

NCLR, GLAD, Trevor Project, and Coalition of Organizations Support Biden Administration’s Inclusive Title IX Athletics Rule

Wednesday, May 17, 2023. The National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and The Trevor Project – along with the National Education Association and more than a dozen other organizations – have submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education supporting its proposed rule requiring equal treatment of transgender students in school sports under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. In addition to the National Education Association, the coalition of organizations includes Family Equality, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and SAGE.



First Line of Defense: Essential Legal Protections for LGBTQ Coaches and Staff

There have been many advances in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights. From national marriage equality to increased employment protections, LGBTQ people are taking bold steps toward achieving equal treatment in all fields, including athletics. However, in order to protect your rights, you must first know what they are—at the federal level, at the state and county or city level, and at your employment institutions. Download PDF

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