Dodgers first LGBT night holds special meaning for woman kicked out of stadium for kissing girlfriend (Update)
Friday's first-ever Los Angeles Dodgers LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) night holds special significance for one woman: Danielle Goldey is as big a Dodgers fan as they come. She says she bleeds blue.
On Aug. 8, 2000, she was attending a game with her then-girlfriend, Meredith Kott, when they were kicked out of Dodger Stadium by nine security guards for kissing after the Dodgers hit a home run.
“They said that a woman complained that she didn't want her kids around 'Those kinds of people,"' Goldey recalls.
The couple threatened to sue before the Dodgers quickly made amends.
“I was troubled … because of what it implied about the Dodger organization,” team president Bob Graziano said at the time.
The team made a public apology, handed out thousands of tickets to gay and lesbian groups and offered sensitivity training. Goldey also asked if the team could host an LGBT night – a request that was not fulfilled until now.
“I wish it did happen 13 years ago when we initially asked for it, but they’re stepping up to the plate finally,” she said.
Goldey wishes the team would have acted before the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins and – especially — the rival San Francisco Giants hosted similar nights.
But her support for the Dodgers has never wavered. She says it wasn't the players or the team that did anything wrong, but rather a small group of fans and security guards.
“I’m not going to blame Tommy Lasorda or Kirk Gibson or old Dodger people," she said. "Those are my heroes.”
Goldey will be in the stands for LGBT night, which the team says will now be an annual tradition. She says the Dodgers haven't reached out to her before the event, which will feature the The Star-Spangled Banner performed by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles.
But she says the most important thing is that the Dodgers are headed towards the playoffs.
Special guests include Jason Collins and Lance Bass
The Dodgers announced that Amber Riley, from "Glee" and "Dancing With the Stars," along with members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of L.A., will sing the national anthem at Friday's game.
The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by former Dodger Billy Bean, the second MLB player who revealed his homosexuality, and NBA center Jason Collins. This year, he became the first active male professional athlete on any major North American sports team to come out publicly as gay.
Finally, 'N SYNC's Lance Bass, who came out in 2006, will start the game by announcing: “It’s Time for Dodger Baseball!”