National Center for Lesbian Rights

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LGBT athletes

NCLR responds to NCAA decision to back down on commitment to take a stand against North Carolina’s HB2

NCLR says NCAA “threw in the towel,” chose to “stand down in the face of discrimination”   (April 4, 2017 San Francisco)—Today, the NCAA Board of Governors issued its position on recent revisions to North Carolina’s HB2, the controversial law that repealed local anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, rolled back civil rights protections for other groups, and imposed draconian restrictions on transgender people’s ability to use common restrooms in public spaces. In a press statement,...

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Michael Sam Makes NFL History

Michael Sam made history today by becoming the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team. Standing in front of ESPN news cameras, Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from the University of Missouri, broke down in tears, hugging and kissing his boyfriend after hearing from St. Louis Rams’ coach Jeff Fisher: “You are a Ram. The wait is finally over.” In addition to adding some more talent to their roster, the Rams’ selection of Sam marks a turning point in the...

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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...

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Groundbreaking Nike LGBTQ Sports Summit Takes on Bullying, Homophobia and Transphobia in Sports

Comprehensive Action Plan Aims to Redefine ‘Athletic Champion’ (Beaverton, OR, June 18, 2012)—Many of the nation’s top lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer sports leaders joined Nike representatives at Nike World Headquarters for the first-ever Nike LGBTQ Sports Summit to combat bullying and anti-LGBTQ bias and discrimination in sports. Advocates and organizations pooled their expertise and strengths over the last four days—June 14 to June 17—to develop a unified plan to end...

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Outsports Names NCLR Sports Project Director Helen Carroll and GLSEN’s Pat Griffin “Persons of the Year” for 2011

(San Francisco, CA, January 5, 2012)—National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Sports Project Director Helen Carroll and Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s Changing the Game Project Director Pat Griffin have been named by Outsports readers as the 2011 “Persons of the Year.” Outsports made the announcement today, noting that Carroll and Griffin’s joint efforts to advance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender athletes is unparalleled and much of the progress that has been...

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Parties Settle Case Challenging Disqualification of Bisexual Players’ Team At 2008 Gay Softball World Series

(Seattle, WA, November 28, 2011)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), K&L Gates LLP, and the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) have negotiated a settlement in a case brought against NAGAAA by three bisexual softball players whose team was disqualified from competition following a protest hearing at the 2008 Gay Softball World Series in Seattle. The three plaintiffs had been playing together in the San Francisco Gay Softball League for years. Their team had...

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NCLR Applauds New NCAA Inclusion Policy Benefitting Transgender Student Athletes

(San Francisco, CA, September 12, 2011)—The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) last week announced that it has approved an important policy that clarifies opportunities for transgender student athletes to participate on college athletic teams in accordance with their gender identity. The NCAA—which governs sports for more than 1,200 colleges and institutions—worked closely with the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Sports Project and Griffin Educational Consulting to develop the...

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NCLR Outraged by FIFA President’s Statement Promoting LGBTQ Discrimination

Statement by NCLR Sports Project Director Helen Carroll (San Francisco, CA, December 14, 2010)—On December 13, 2010, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Sepp Blatter told reporters that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender fans who plan on attending the 2022 World Cup in Qatar “should refrain from any sexual activities” while in Qatar, which criminalizes sexual intimacy between same-sex partners. FIFA is a global organization comprised of 208...

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New GLSEN Project to Improve Climate for LGBTQ Students in Elementary and High School Sports

Statement from NCLR Sports Project Director Helen Carroll (San Francisco, CA, October 27, 2010)—The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) announced on October 25, 2010 that Dr. Pat Griffin, former Director of It Takes A Team! Education Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Issues in Sport at the Women’s Sports Foundation, has joined GLSEN to develop and direct a program to address LGBTQ issues in youth and high school sports. The GLSEN Sports Project, which will...

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Groundbreaking Report Urges High School and College Athletics to Establish Standard, National Policies for Transgender Student Athletes

Report is the first to address transgender student athletes, provides comprehensive model policies (San Francisco, CA, October 04, 2010)—A groundbreaking report sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and It Takes A Team!, an Initiative of the Women’s Sports Foundation, is urging high school and college athletic associations across the country to adopt standard policies to provide transgender student athletes fair and equal opportunity to participate on athletic teams. The...

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Supreme Court Rules on Title VII! Give now & Celebrate!