Major League Baseball on Tuesday announced that its new Collective Bargaining Agreement includes “sexual orientation” in its non-discrimination policy.
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.”
This decision follows that National Football League, which did the same in their CBA this year. Baseball officials familiar with the process describe the mention of “sexual orientation” as not necessarily related to the NFL, and as a provision readily agreed upon by both union and league negotiators.
The change in wording comes at the end of a significant year for gay rights issues. The military abolished its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and same-sex marriage became legal in New York state. In baseball, several teams filmed an “It Gets Better Video,” an anti-bullying effort aimed at Lesbian, Gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
Michael Weiner, the union’s executive director, said that the decision was not motivated by requests from his membership, but by “the lawyers on both sides just recognizing that it should be there.”