A judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by University of Wyoming sorority sisters to block a transgender woman from joining their chapter — despite allegations the student was a “sexual predator” who got physically aroused around them.
Wyoming US District Court Judge Alan Johnson tossed the suit — filed by six members of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority chapter — because the organization’s bylaws do not define what a “woman” is.
A federal court cannot interfere with the sorority chapter’s freedom of association by ruling against its vote to induct Artemis Langford in Sept. 2022, Johnson ruled Friday.
“With its inquiry beginning and ending there, the court will not define a ‘woman’ today,” the judge wrote.
“The University of Wyoming chapter voted to admit — and, more broadly, a sorority of hundreds of thousands approved — Langford,” he continued.
“The delegate of a private, voluntary organization interpreted ‘woman,’ otherwise undefined in the nonprofit’s bylaws, expansively; this Judge may not invade Kappa Kappa Gamma’s freedom of expressive association and inject the circumscribed definition Plaintiffs urge.”
Rachel Berkness, Langford’s attorney, welcomed the court’s ruling and dismissed the allegation that her client, a 6-foot-2, 260-pound trans student, was a “sexual predator.”
“The allegations against Ms. Langford should never have made it into a legal filing,” Berkness said in an email to the Associated Press.
“They are nothing more than cruel rumors that mirror exactly the type of rumors used to vilify and dehumanize members of the LGBTQIA+ community for generations. And they are baseless,” Berkness said in an email.
The case at Wyoming’s only four-year public university garnered national attention as schools and colleges grapple with how to handle transgender athletes.
Six members of the university’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority filed the lawsuit in March against the national sorority organization, its national council president and Langford — who joined their chapter in September 2022.