NATIONAL NEWS

Judge dismisses lawsuit by sorority sisters who sought to block a transgender woman from joining

Aug 28, 2023, 2:07 PM | Updated: 2:37 pm

FILE - Two people walk on the University of Wyoming campus, June 14, 2016, in Laramie, Wyo. On Frid...

FILE - Two people walk on the University of Wyoming campus, June 14, 2016, in Laramie, Wyo. On Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, a judge dismissed a lawsuit contesting a transgender woman's admission into a sorority at the University of Wyoming, ruling that he could not override how the private, voluntary organization defined a woman and order that she not belong. (Shannon Broderick/Laramie Boomerang via AP, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Shannon Broderick/Laramie Boomerang via AP, File)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit contesting a transgender woman’s admission into a sorority at the University of Wyoming, ruling that he could not override how the private, voluntary organization defined a woman and order that she not belong.

In the lawsuit, six members of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority chapter challenged Artemis Langford’s admission by casting doubt on whether sorority rules allowed a transgender woman. Wyoming U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson, in his ruling, found that sorority bylaws don’t define who’s a woman.

The case at Wyoming’s only four-year public university drew widespread attention as transgender people fight for more acceptance in schools, athletics, workplaces and elsewhere, while others push back.

A federal court cannot interfere with the sorority chapter’s freedom of association by ruling against its vote to induct the transgender woman last year, Johnson ruled Friday.

With no definition of a woman in sorority bylaws, Johnson ruled that he could not impose the six sisters’ definition of a woman in place of the sorority’s more expansive definition provided in court.

“With its inquiry beginning and ending there, the court will not define a ‘woman’ today,” Johnson wrote.

Langford’s attorney, Rachel Berkness, welcomed the ruling.

“The allegations against Ms. Langford should never have made it into a legal filing. 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 sorority sisters who sued said Langford’s presence in their sorority house made them uncomfortable. But while the lawsuit portrayed Langford as a “sexual predator,” claims about her behavior turned out to be a “nothing more than a drunken rumor,” Berkness said.

An attorney for the sorority sisters, Cassie Craven, said by email they disagreed with the ruling and the fundamental issue — the definition of a woman — remains undecided.

“Women have a biological reality that deserves to be protected and recognized and we will continue to fight for that right just as women suffragists for decades have been told that their bodies, opinions, and safety doesn’t matter,” Craven wrote.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft...

Jackie Wattles, CNN

Two astronauts wait to come home as Boeing races to understand spacecraft issues. Here’s what’s at stake

Two test pilots helming the inaugural crewed flight of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft are in a tentative position — and so is Boeing’s reputation in spaceflight.

11 hours ago

Matera, Italy, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site for more than 30 years.
Mandatory Credit:	Poik...

Angelica Chiara Yazbeck and Louis Mian, CNN

Historic building in Italy damaged by parkour tourists

Jumping from building to building in an ancient city might seem like a dream for those who practice parkour — a sport that involves making it past obstacles — but it can cause damage to historic buildings.

11 hours ago

Community members in Denver's Central Park neighborhood have a lot of questions after discovering a...

Karen Morfitt, KCNC

Registered sex offender found operating ice cream truck in Denver

Community members in Denver's Central Park neighborhood have a lot of questions after discovering a registered sex offender was operating the neighborhood ice cream truck.

12 hours ago

Tuesday February 9, 2006. Photo by Scott G. Winterton / Deseret Morning News.The Ten Commandments m...

Sara Cline, Associated Press

New Louisiana law requires that The Ten Commandments must be displayed classrooms

Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom.

12 hours ago

Tropical Storm Alberto has formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, the first named storm of what...

Jaime stengle and Mariana Martinez Barba

Tropical Storm Alberto forms in southwest Gulf, 1st named storm of the hurricane season

Tropical Storm Alberto has formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, the first named storm of what is forecast to be a busy hurricane season.

15 hours ago

An air tanker soars through a large plume of smoke over and around wildfire-affected areas in the v...

MORGAN LEE Associated Press

At least 1 dead in New Mexico wildfire that forced thousands to flee, governor’s office says

Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled a mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Judge dismisses lawsuit by sorority sisters who sought to block a transgender woman from joining