Sorority’s Decision To Admit Trans Woman Prevails In Court

In a case centered around the University of Wyoming’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and its decision to admit a transgender woman, a Wyoming U.S. District Court judge forced a group of sorority sisters to accommodate a 6’2″, 260-pound man.

Artemis Langford, formerly known as Dallin, had applied for membership in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and the sorority admitted him in September last year, triggering disapproval among seven of its members, one of whom later removed herself from the lawsuit.

At the center of the lawsuit was the interpretation of the term “woman” and whether it extended to include transgender individuals. 

However, Judge Alan Johnson, in his decision, emphasized the importance of the sorority’s right to determine its own membership, even in the face of internal dissent. “With its inquiry beginning and ending there, the court will not define a ‘woman’ today,” he wrote, adding, “The University of Wyoming chapter voted to admit — and, more broadly, a sorority of hundreds of thousands approved — Langford.”

Johnson acknowledged the ongoing discourse surrounding gender identity but asserted that while the sorority’s bylaws stipulated that new members must be women, the bylaws failed to provide a specific definition of the term. This ambiguity enabled the sorority to interpret “woman” in an inclusive manner that accommodated transgender women like Langford.

Johnson also referenced the 2018 Guide for Supporting LGBTQIA+ Members, which emphasized Kappa Kappa Gamma’s commitment to being an organization open to both cisgender and transgender women. The guide underscored that the organization’s membership selection was devoid of gender identity-based discrimination.

The lawsuit also addressed allegations of discomforting behavior by Langford towards fellow sorority members. These allegations included instances of inappropriate conduct and unsettling behavior. According to the lawsuit, the trans woman inappropriately watched a female member coming out of the shower.

“One sorority member walked down the hall to take a shower, wearing only a towel. She felt an unsettling presence, turned, and saw [Langford] watching her silently,” the lawsuit stated.

“Langford] has, while watching members enter the sorority house, had an erection visible through his leggings. Other times, he has had a pillow in his lap,” the lawsuit alleged further, as the plaintiffs argue that having a biological male in the sorority house with them is unsafe.

However, Langford’s attorney, Rachel Berkness, vehemently contested these claims, characterizing them as unfounded rumors that perpetuated harmful stereotypes against the LGBTQIA+ community.

The accusations, she said, are “nothing more than a drunken rumor.”

While the ruling was hailed as a triumph by many, the plaintiffs’ attorney Cassie Craven, expressed disagreement with the court’s decision, maintaining that women’s “biological reality” should be “protected and recognized.”