CHEYENNE, Wyo. A judge dismissed , a lawsuit disputing the admission of a transgender women into a sorority in the University of Wyoming. He ruled that he couldn’t override the way the private, volunteer organization defined a woman, and order her not to belong.
Six members of Kappa Kappa Gamma’s sorority challenged Artemis Langford’s admission in the lawsuit by raising doubts about whether the sorority’s rules allowed a woman to be transgender. In his ruling, Wyoming U.S. district court judge Alan Johnson found that the sorority’s bylaws do not define who is a woman.
Transgender students are fighting for greater acceptance at schools, in sports, at work and other places, but others have resisted.
Johnson ruled that a federal court cannot interfere in the freedom of association of the sorority by ruling against the chapter’s vote to admit the transgender woman, last year.
Johnson, citing the absence of any definition of woman in the bylaws of sororities, ruled that the more expansive definition given in court by the sorority was not to be substituted for the six sisters definition.
Johnson wrote: “With its investigation beginning and ending at that point, the court today will not define what a woman is.”
Rachel Berkness Langford’s lawyer, who welcomed the decision.
“The allegations made against Ms. Langford never should have been filed in court.” These are cruel rumors, which mirror the rumours that have been used for years to dehumanize and vilify members of the LGBTQIA+ Community. Berkness wrote in an email that the rumors are “baseless”.
The sisters who sued claimed that Langford’s appearance in their sorority made them feel uncomfortable. Berkness stated that while the lawsuit described Langford as “a sexual predator”, claims about her behaviour turned out to be “nothing but a drunken story.”
Cassie Craven said in an email that she disagreed with this ruling, and the fundamental question — what is a woman? — remains unresolved.
Craven wrote: “Women’s biological reality deserves to be recognized and protected, just as women’s suffragists have been told for decades that their bodies, opinions and safety don’t matter.”