our work.discrimination.sports.625


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

Apilado. v. North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association


LaRon Charles, Jon Russ and Steven Apilado had been playing softball together in the San Francisco Gay Softball League for years. Their team had competed in the Gay Softball World Series organized by the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA), but had never finished better than fourth place. At the 2008 World Series in Seattle, the team made it all the way to the championship game, when they were shocked to learn that their eligibility to play was being challenged based on a NAGAAA rule limiting the number of non-gay players who could play on a World Series team.



Press Release

NCLR Condemns Idaho Law Barring Transgender Girls from Sports

March 30, 2020. The National Center for Lesbian Rights strongly condemns Idaho Governor Brad Little’s decision to sign HB 500, a law that bars transgender girls from participating in sports.  As a result of the Governor’s action, Idaho will now be the only state in the country to bar transgender children from school sports.



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

Share This
Protecting our Future. Donate Now!