Achieving LGBT Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Issues: Sports

News & Opinion

for this issue

Press Release

NCLR Applauds New NCAA Inclusion Policy Benefitting Transgender Student Athletes
09.12.11—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.

Statement

New GLSEN Project to Improve Climate for LGBT Students in Elementary and High School Sports
A Statement from NCLR Sports Project Director Helen Carroll
10.27.10—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 LGBT issues in youth and high school sports.

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Press Release

NCLR Files Suit Challenging Discriminatory Athletic Policy
Athletes, Coach humiliated at public interrogation about sexual orientation
04.20.10—Today, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) clients and the law firm of K&L Gates LLP filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington challenging the discriminatory practices of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA).

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Press Release

National Center for Lesbian Rights Wins Landmark Title IX Retaliation Lawsuit on Behalf of Former Head Basketball Coach
Jury Finds Title IX Retaliation at San Diego Mesa College
12.03.09—Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) secured a favorable jury verdict on behalf of Lorri Sulpizio, the former head coach of the women’s basketball team at San Diego Mesa College (Mesa), a college within the San Diego Community College District (District). The California State Court jury awarded $28,000, the equivalent of one year’s salary, in damages, finding that the District had retaliated against Sulpizio when she complained that Mesa engaged in gender inequities in violation of Title IX, a federal statute that prohibits discrimination based on sex in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance in the United States.

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Press Release

Top Sports Leaders, Researchers, Medical & Legal Experts Address Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student-Athletes
10.27.09
—In a groundbreaking think tank sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in partnership with the Women’s Sports Foundation Initiative: It Takes a Team! Education Campaign for LGBT Issues in Sport, top sports leaders, legal experts, policymakers and student-athletes gathered to address equal opportunity for transgender student-athletes. The two-day session provided an opportunity to identify best practices and develop model policies for high school and collegiate athletic leaders to ensure the full inclusion of transgender student-athletes.

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Opinion

The Conversation Begins: Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student-Athletes, a National Think Tank
NCLR's Blog: Out for Justice
10.21.09
—On Oct. 26, 2009, in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a gathering of top sports leaders from across the country, athletic directors, researchers, medical and legal experts on transgender issues, student-athletes and NCAA officials will meet to examine the question of how to make sports inclusive for the transgender student-athlete.

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Press Release

Groundbreaking Think Tank to Address Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student-Athletes
09.22.09
—A groundbreaking think tank sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in partnership with the Women’s Sports Foundation Initiative: It Takes a Team! Education Campaign for LGBT Issues in Sport will gather national sports leaders, legal experts, and policymakers to address equal opportunity for transgender student-athletes. As increasing numbers of young people identify as transgender in high school or college, the convening will provide an opportunity to identify best practices and develop model policies for high school and collegiate athletic leaders to ensure the full inclusion of transgender student-athletes.

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Opinion

Role Models: Helen Carroll and the 2009 Summer Senior Olympics
NCLR's Blog: Ouf for Justice
08.10.09
—In sports we are always looking for that role model who inspires us and says, "Yes, you can be like me!" We see Sheryl Swoopes and the women of the WNBA, we idolize our favorite coaches as they lead their young teams to victory or coach them through heartbreaking losses, and we witness those incredible moments where the spirit triumphs. As National Center for Lesbian Rights Sports Project Director, I meet such role models everyday in our clients—courageous coaches and athletes who stand up for equality.

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News Article

In Film, Victims Find Voice At Last
The Minneapolis Star Tribune
06.20.09—by Jim Gehrz, The Star Tribune
Helen Carroll first met Cindy Davies in 2005, when Carroll drove across the dusty plains of Texas to hear a tale of discrimination and heartache.

News Article

Report Focuses on Negative Recruiting
by Ross Forman | The Windy City Times
04.29.09
—Helen Carroll knows first-hand the value and importance—and certainly the potentially damaging consequences, especially on recruiting—of addressing discrimination in college athletics, especially related to sexual orientation, either actual or perceived.


News Article

Negative Recruiting Report Lays Foundation for Gay-Positive College Sports
by Cyd Ziegler | OutSports.com
04.15.09
—Two great women have come together to write a fantastic, comprehensive report that is their latest step in trying to end collegiate and high school Negative Recruiting Based on Sexual Orientation. Helen Carroll, Sports Project Manager for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Pat Griffin, Director of It Takes A Team! Education Campaign, have been at the forefront of tackling homophobia in sports for many years. In their latest report they lay out best practices for coaches, athletic directors, athletes and parents who may be the purveyors or victims of negative recruiting.

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News Article

Report Tackles College Recruiting 'Gay Baiting'
03.18.09—by Roger Brigham, Bay Area Reporter
The NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament that begins this weekend is a prime recruiting tool for coaches at the country's top programs as they try to lure the crop of next year's athletes. Coming just as the women's regular season wrapped up with conference championship games last weekend, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Women's Sports Foundation issued a 22-page report on what those programs should not do when they sit down to chat up young athletes and their families.

Press Release

New Report Focuses on Eliminating Negative Recruiting in Sports
 
NCLR combats negative recruiting based on sexual orientation
03.10.09
—Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) announced the publication of “The Positive Approach: Recognizing, Challenging, and Eliminating Negative Recruiting Based on Actual or Perceived Sexual Orientation,” authored by Helen Carroll, NCLR Sports Project Director, and Dr. Pat Griffin, Director of It Takes a Team! Education Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Sport, an initiative of the Women’s Sports Foundation. The publication provides a comprehensive analysis of negative recruiting based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, and recommends practices and policies to eliminate it. Negative recruiting refers to the practice of playing on homophobic stereotypes to deter recruits from attending rival athletic programs by alleging or implying that a rival coach or team members are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Because sexual orientation is irrelevant to coaching, leadership, or athletic abilities, the actual or perceived sexual orientation of any coach or player should not be part of the recruiting process.


Press Release

Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights Confirms Title IX Violations Alleged in Lawsuit
“Substantial and unjustified” gender inequities identified
09.17.08
—An investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) confirmed “substantial and unjustified” Title IX violations in San Diego Mesa College’s (Mesa) athletic program. The violations OCR identified were initially the subject of a complaint by former head basketball coach Lorri Sulpizio shortly before she and her domestic partner, the former Director of Basketball Operations, Cathy Bass, were terminated from their employment with Mesa. OCR’s investigation focused on gender disparities in the treatment of student-athletes and did not include Sulpizio’s and Bass’ retaliation and employment discrimination claims, which are the subject of a pending lawsuit.

click here to read more

click here to read the case timeline (pdf)

click here to read Coach Sulpizio's and Coach Bass's bios (pdf)

click here to read the complaint filed on 07.24.08 (pdf)

Press Release

National Center for Lesbian Rights Files Title IX Retaliation Lawsuit on Behalf of Former Basketball Coaches
 
Lawsuit alleges gender and sexual orientation discrimination at San Diego Mesa College
07.24.08—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the law firms of Boxer & Gerson, LLP and Stock Stephens, LLP filed a lawsuit today in state court in San Diego, California on behalf of Lorri Sulpizio, the former Head Coach of the women’s basketball team at San Diego Mesa College (Mesa), and Cathy Bass, the former Director of Basketball Operations at Mesa. The complaint alleges that, despite Sulpizio’s and Bass’s dedication and demonstrated track record of success leading the women’s basketball program at the community college, Mesa officials unlawfully fired both coaches at the end of the 2007 academic year after they spoke out about the unequal treatment of female athletes and women coaches and following publication in a local paper of an article identifying them as domestic partners.

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Press Release

The National Center for Lesbian Rights Salutes National Girls and Women in Sports Day
02.06.08 — Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) salutes National Girls and Women in Sports Day, and calls for unwavering support of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. The federal law prohibits sex discrimination in education, and requires schools and colleges receiving federal funding to give women and girls the equal opportunity to participate in sport. The number of girls and women taking advantage of educational and athletic opportunities since Title IX was enacted has increased exponentially.

Press Release

New Book Highlights NCLR’s Role in Addressing Homophobia in Sports
Founders of Outsports.com Release New Book Showcasing NCLR’s Sport Project Director Helen Carroll
11.13.07 — The National Center for Lesbian Rights Sports Project is featured in The Outsports Revolution, published by Alyson Publications. This new book chronicles the world of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) sports, and showcases NCLR’s groundbreaking legal work in leveling the playing field for LGBT athletes.

Press Release

NCLR Joins in Supporting the High School Athletics Accountability Act
06.04.07
— Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) joins the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport and more than 30 national organizations in their call for support for the High School Athletics Accountability Act. Currently before Congress (HR 901) and the Senate (S 518), the bill will significantly expand the ability of schools, students, parents, and the public at large to improve gender equity on our nation's playing fields and to realize the promise of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Statement

NCLR Commends Don Imus Firing
04.12.07
— When Don Imus, father of all shock jocks and host of the nationally syndicated CBS Radio show, "Imus in the Morning," spewed hateful stereotypes throughout his commentary on the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, he crossed a line. That was nothing new, but what was new-and commendable-was the heads of MSNBC and CBS took action.

Press Release

NCLR Joins in Celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day
02.07.07
— Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) joins the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, a group consisting of more than 100 organizations, in their call for unwavering support of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.

Opinion

Kate’s Blog: Out for Justice
Celebration Is the Fuel that Keeps Us Moving Forward
02.07.07
— Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) joins the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, a group consisting of more than 100 organizations, in their call for unwavering support of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.

Press Release

Settlement of Discrimination Case Against Penn State
02.05.07
— NCLR and co-counsel Sharon McKee of Hangley, Aronchick, Segal and Pudlin, reached a settlement agreement on behalf of NCLR client Jennifer Harris with Penn State and its women's basketball coach Rene Portland and athletic director Tim Curley.

breaking news | in the press center

Statement

Court of Appeals Rules Against Christian Legal Society, Denies Request to Reopen Challenge to University’s Non-discrimination Policy
A statement from NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, Esq.
11.17.10—Today the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the Christian Legal Society’s request to present additional evidence in Christian Legal Society v. Wu, a case challenging a California law school’s policy that student groups may not discriminate based on sexual orientation, religion, or other bases.

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