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Baseball to add sexual orientation to nondiscrimination policy in new labor deal

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Major League Baseball and the players' union will add sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy as part of a new labor deal, the New York Daily News is reporting. From Andy Martino:

The new collective bargaining agreement adds "sexual orientation" to its section on discrimination, a person with direct knowledge of the agreement told the Daily News.

Article XV, Section A of the MLB's expiring Basic Agreement, in effect from 2006-2011, states: "The provisions of this Agreement shall be applied to all Players covered by this Agreement without regard to race, color, religion or national origin."

In the new agreement, which will be made public Tuesday afternoon, the words "sexual orientation" will be added to the equivalent section.

This is terrific news and a no-brainer. Baseball now joins the NFL, NHL and Major League Soccer in having such policies. The NBA is in the middle of a lockout, but I would expect any settlement to include similar language.

Rafael McDonnell of the gay advocacy group Resource Center Dallas sent a letter to baseball officials in October advocating such a position. The letter gives a good overview of the contracts of all the major sports leagues (click PDF link below to read):

MLB CBA nondiscrimination