A former Penn State basketball player has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the coach, Rene Portland, accusing discrimination based on sexual orientation. At issue are Portland's policies regarding the players, said to be “no drinking, no drugs, no lesbians”. This characterization of Portland's stance is supported by her mid-80s statement that she “will not have [lesbian activity] in my program”.

Such a “no lesbian” policy for women's basketball is ludicrous given that women's basketball is not really not a bastion of heterosexuality. Along with golf and softball, women's basketball is a sport that many associate with lesbians. It would be like a “no redneck” policy for men's football.

Such a “no lesbian” policy is disheartening given that whom the players love has nothing to do with their academic or athletic performance. One could make the argument that the “no drinking” and “no drugs” policies address both illegal acts and the players' fitness. The “no lesbian” policy has no such defense. Rather it makes Portland look like she is abusing the power of her position to punish those with whose sexual orientation she does not agree.


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