OHIO: Columbus City Leaders Thrilled With Arrival Of 2015 Gay Softball World Series, Top Sponsor Nissan Cheers

It’s not ALL about the Benjamins, but that’s a big part of it. Via Columbus Alive:

Before the first pitch is thrown at the Gay Softball World Series at Lou Berliner Sports Park, Columbus and the LGBTQ community have already won. For the second time, the largest annual LGBTQ sporting event comes to Columbus on Aug. 17, bringing with it 185 teams, roughly 5,000 participants from across the United States and Canada prepared for top-notch competition, and more than $5 million in projected revenue for the city over the nine-day event. “After Columbus hosted the Gay Softball World Series in 2010, people have high expectations for coming back,” North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) assistant commissioner Keith Speers said. “We raised the bar significantly in 2010, now we have to pole-vault the bar.” The Gay Softball World Series has garnered support from Mayor Michael Coleman and the Columbus City Council, Franklin County Commissioners, and a slew of corporate and local sponsors. Speers believes the outpouring of support reflects on Columbus’ progressive nature and a societal shift in how the LGBTQ community is viewed.

Top event sponsor Nissan is crowing on the Auto Channel:

“Nissan has the most diverse consumer base of any automotive manufacturer and is eager to champion grassroots LGBT events that give consumers a chance to interact with both our vehicles, and our LGBT and ally employees,” said Rick Ash, senior manager, Nissan Marketing. “It’s also an honor for Nissan to bring more visibility to out athletes (past and present) like Glenn Burke, Billy Bean, Sean Conroy and all of the LGBT athletes competing this week.” Since 2013, Nissan has scored a perfect 100 in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for its LGBT-inclusive policies and commitment to the community. The company was among the fastest risers in the history of the index.

See the schedule of events. (Tipped by JMG reader Kyle)
A_mgsws2015The Union Jacks team earlier this summer. credit: the Columbus Lesbian and Gay Softball Association.

  • joe ho

    don’t forget. ohio was one of the foot-draggers.

    • Gustav2

      There are two Ohios. One metro, the other exurban/rural. If we weren’t gerrymandered to the inch we would be more a Blue State. And we notice it as soon as we are travel a couple of counties away.

      • Bj Lincoln

        My hometown is in a county that is very red and doesn’t like us much. Nice to hear the capital is doing better. Cleveland wasn’t too bad.

        • Gustav2

          There was a dust up in Bexley (older inner suburb of Columbus) because they thought they had public accommodations and housing non-discrimination and a company did discriminate. Within weeks the city of Bexley fixed it with not much protest, even from the ultra-Orthodox Jews.

          • Speaking of that, EQOH (as much as I fight with ’em) is pushing to get Sandusky to file a nondiscrim ordinance. Just got an email/signed their petition. I’m honestly shocked they already don’t have it. Nate used to live there and that town has a pretty high gay contingent, compared to the shithole one county south called Norwalk and Willard 🙂


          • Gustav2

            Sandusky Co is where my just off the boat ancestors lived in the mid-1800’s. I was named after one of them. I am surprised the city, in the county next door doesn’t have protections…we have always been fine in Bayview and the area.

          • fuzzybits

            Born in Sandusky County. And Sandusky was where I went to my first gay bar.

          • Hmmm…Nate’s bf used to RUN the Crow Bar, and I was there once a few years ago, back before the two of us met 🙂

        • Gustav2

          Public Religion Research Institute survey. Columbus fell in the mostly unaffiliated category, with 24 percent. The second-largest group was Catholics, at 22 percent. Ranking third were white evangelical Protestants, at 18 percent.


    • We are. But you get about 3 miles outside the Tea Party areas and this state’s actually decent to live in and has a modicum of brains. Mainly because of the high number of colleges. (Think OSU in Columbus).

      Also, remember: we had the Gay Games last year (then had the RNC in the same building this year. Amazing.)

      Been to Axis once…then again, seeing as I’m not a partier…not one to go back, but I did enjoy myself a bit. Union (the bar across from Axis on S. High) is a fairly upscale little gathering place. You’re not gonna find your $5 appetizers there, most of the time. 🙂

      We also elected Ted Strickland, Sherrod Brown, and Dennis Kucinich.

      • fuzzybits

        And Gov. Celeste.

  • elvigy

    All in? I tittered.

  • Josh447

    Nice! A little late to learn about it but from San Diego Cali, I wanna go.

  • Blobby

    and in the evening the park was ripe for cruising. ……….i mean, I’ve heard.

    • Gustav2

      That’s funny. In the 1970’s the Berliner Park area WAS the place for cruising for married men, morning, noon and night…or so I was told.

      • Blobby

        and the ’80s…..and at least the early ’90s. “according to my sources”. 🙂

  • Richard Rush

    And as a special bonus, Linda Harvey surely has the mega-sadz.
    (I understand she lives in Columbus)

    • Gustav2

      Yes and she will be hiding in her bulrushes about 10 miles from Berliner Park.

      • Bluto

        Look for porno pete in his assless chaps.
        (& yes, I know chaps by there very nature are assless but it’s just fun to say.)

        • Gustav2

          He won’t be there. This is just good ole fashioned fun. Hell, bring the kids.

    • Sporkfighter

      “(I understand she lives in Columbus)”

      I’ll grant you she exists in Columbus, maybe even that she hates in Columbus, but not that she lives.

      • I thought she lived in Cincy? Guess not.

  • Octavio

    The up-and-coming dangerous Lesbians who took me in when I moved to SF in the late ’60s were great softball players. They ran their particular women’s team. I’d show up with coolers full of beer to help them replenish their electrolytes and make them happy. I assume it has become more civilized in this century. Back then, those women ball players had mouths that embarrassed longshoreman and 17th Century pirates.

    • MDB

      You’ll should hear the ladies talk in my Cathedral’s Altar Guild, and I thought I was the one with a potty mouth. Even in the sacistry, my ears turn red from the scandalous verbosity !!!!!! (sweet little old church ladies, my azz !!)

    • Ray Taylor

      Yea, I lived at W exit of the J St. line(Cole&Carl) I would go in that womens bar across from the liquor store occasionally. They sure were loud.

      • Octavio

        And mean ball players, too.

        • Ray Taylor

          They would ‘make me leave’ if they just lost a game.

  • djfinance

    Columbus is a welcoming city for all people. A straight-ally former roommate of mine here in DC is on the City Council and it is people like him, people with open hearts and minds, who make Columbus a great place.

  • LuvUrLivr

    Looking forward to a trophy coming home to Providence with these folks!


  • EdmondWherever

    Cool, the hubby and I both drive Nissans.

  • robert

    give Nissan bonus points for listing Glenn Burke 1st in promoting past and present out athletes. Glenn’s is a proud and sad story.

  • BoringLawyer

    Having lived in Columbus I can truly say it is a hidden gem of America. Big enough to feel like a big city; small enough to feel like a community. The gay people are welcoming, and, hey, it doesn’t hurt that there’s a giant university in the city (OSU) with plenty of cute college boys, amirite?

  • Jeffrey TP Kidwell-Warfel

    Don’t get me wrong. I have been a resident here for almost 30 years. The gay population is huge. But the city has been very slow to embrace them and the last time these ballgames were held here, it did not even register in the local press. Until somebody figured out that this is, and has been a huge infusion of financial resources into the local economy, now it is getting attention. It was a huge story on the local news for the past two evenings, and yes they are quoting the 5-6 million dollars that are heading into the local coffers. Right now there is not a hotel room to be found in our downtown and historic districts (all gentrified/restored by the gay community). I love this city. It’s residents are very accepting and supportive of our communities. Tom.

  • Diogenes Arktos

    A historical note: The late John Preston in his “The Big Gay Book: A Man’s Survival Guide for the Nineties” claimed Columbus was the best city for LGBT folk in the US.