A US judge has ruled that a gay softball league can limit the amount of straight players on teams, but not necessarily bisexual players.

The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) was sued by three male bisexual players who had been cut from a San Francisco softball team.

The team was excluded from the 2008 Gay Softball World Series for having too many non-gay players; NAGAAA rules only allow two non-gay players per team.

The men claimed that they had been questioned about their sexuality by the team, which already had two straight members, and were then deemed “not gay enough”.

Judge John Coughenour ruled that the NAGAAA had the constitutional right, as a private organisation, to exclude straight players in the same way the Boy Scouts of America has been allowed to bar gay people from joining it.

“It would be difficult for NAGAAA to effectively emphasise a vision of the gay lifestyle rooted in athleticism, competition and sportsmanship if it were prohibited from maintaining a gay identity,” the judge said.

However, Coughenour ruled that as the plaintiffs are bisexual and not heterosexual they may have been discriminated against by the league.

Saying that the “treatment of bisexuals remains of central importance to this case”, he allowed the three men to continue with their suit against the NAGAAA.

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