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Judge dismisses sorority sisters’ lawsuit seeking to ban biological male

A judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by six members of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority at the University of Wyoming who sought to bar a male who identifies as female from their sorority.

“U.S. District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson threw out a case against UW’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and transgender member Artemis Langford, ruling that sisters … could not force the ‘private, voluntary’ sorority to use their definition of ‘woman,’ which does not include transgender people,” the Casper Star Tribune reported.

“Johnson’s decision brings at least an initial end to a lawsuit that has captured national attention amid intense debate around transgender rights,” the newspaper added.

The lawsuit, filed in March, alleged that the national Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority had ignored its own charter and bylaws by allowing Langford to enter the all-female sorority. The sorority requires members to be women.

Johnson’s ruling stated in part:

Embittered by their chapter’s admission of Artemis Langford, a transgender woman, six KKG sisters at the University of Wyoming sue their national sorority and its president. Plaintiffs, framing the case as one of first impression, ask the Court to, inter alia, void their sorority sister’s admission, find that KKG’s President violated her fiduciary obligations by betraying KKG’s bylaws, and prevent other transgender women from joining KKG nationwide. A “woman”, say Plaintiffs, is not a transgender woman.

Unadorned, this case condenses to this: who decides whether Langford is a Kappa Kappa Gamma sister? Though given the opportunity to vote this past fall, not the six Plaintiffs. Not KKG’s Fraternity Council. Not even this federal Court. The University of Wyoming chapter voted to admit—and, more broadly, a sorority of hundreds of thousands approved—Langford. With its inquiry beginning and ending there, the Court will not define “woman” today. The delegate of a private, voluntary organization interpreted “woman”, otherwise undefined in the non-profit’s bylaws, expansively; this Judge may not invade Kappa Kappa Gamma’s freedom of expressive association and inject the circumscribed definition Plaintiffs urge. Holding that Plaintiffs fail to plausibly allege their derivative, breach of contract, tortious interference, and direct claims, the Court dismisses, without prejudice, Plaintiffs’ causes of action…

According to the Star Tribune, “lawyers for Kappa Kappa Gamma argued that ‘a vocal minority’ was trying to impose its personal beliefs at the cost of Langford and the sorority.”

MORE: Sorority sisters file lawsuit to remove male member

IMAGE: Houlihan Narratives / Facebook

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