A transgender flag flies near St. Louis City Hall with the Gateway Arch in the background, moments after the flag was hoisted in St. Louis on June 20, 2016. Leaders of a University of Wyoming sorority have called on the district court to dismiss a lawsuit from members who oppose the admission of a transgender woman. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
June 25 (UPI) -- Leaders of a University of Wyoming sorority have called on the district court to dismiss a lawsuit from members who oppose the admission of a transgender woman.
After the Gamma Omicron chapter Kappa Kappa Gamma voted to grant membership to Artemis Langford, a transgender woman, in September, seven members sued, arguing it violated sorority rules, according to court documents.
The plaintiffs say Langford's inclusion in the sorority made them feel uncomfortable and that they were "deprived of the all-female environment."
Last week, sorority council President Mary Pat Rooney and the sorority's nonprofit organization filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The motion cites court precedent that rejects the plaintiff's claims that the term "woman" can only be interpreted to mean a person that is born biologically female.
"Other federal courts disagree: 'transgender men are men; transgender women are women,'" the motion reads, citing the case of Maxwell Kadel v. Dale Folwell.
In Kadel v. Folwell, a North Carolina district court ruled that the North Carolina State Health Plan was discriminatory because it denied coverage for gender-confirming health care.
A separate filing from Langford's attorney last week said the plaintiffs' lawsuit failed to identify any wrongdoing or any relief they seek from Langford. The lawsuit seeks to have Langford's membership voided by the court. Langford requested to be removed from the lawsuit.
As of 2015, the sorority's policy has been to admit transgender women, as 25 other national and international sororities in the National Panhellenic Conference do.
"If Plaintiffs' disagreements with Kappa's inclusionary position actually represented the majority view of other Kappa members, as opposed to that of a vocal minority, they could presumably effect a change in the position," the motion to dismiss reads. "Plaintiffs can also resign their membership in the organization if a position of inclusion is too offensive to their personal values.2 What they cannot do is have this Court define their sorority's membership for them."