by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A sorority at the University of Wyoming Laramie will be forced to admit a male student into its sisterhood after a court rejected a case brought by six female members.
On Friday, U.S. District Alan Johnson granted a motion to dismiss from defendant Artemis Langford, a male UW Laramie sophomore who was admitted to the Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter last year. Johnson ruled that KKG was under no obligation to comply with the definition of “woman” preferred by the six female members who brought the suit.
“The delegate of a private, voluntary organization interpreted ‘woman’, otherwise undefined in the non-profit’s bylaws, expansively; this Judge may not invade Kappa Kappa Gamma’s freedom of expressive association and inject the circumscribed definition Plaintiffs urge,” Johnson wrote in the opinion. “Holding that Plaintiffs fail to plausibly allege their derivative, breach of contract, tortious interference, and direct claims, the Court dismisses, without prejudice, Plaintiffs’ causes of action.”
In the fall of 2022, sorority members were pressured into approving Langford’s initiation, National Review previously reported and the original complaint from March noted. At a meeting to discuss Langford’s candidacy, chapter leaders quashed concerns and encouraged dissenting members to quit the chapter. An online vote was then conducted, asking members to identify themselves with their emails in violation of the sorority’s secret-ballot procedures.
According to KKG policy, Langford could be admitted only by unanimous vote, and chapter leadership was required to disclose the final vote tally. Both of those conditions were violated, as chapter leaders simply announced that Langford had been inducted without confirming that he’d secured enough votes. Langford’s induction had the blessing of national KKG headquarters, which in 2018 issued a “Guide for Supporting our LGBTQIA+ Members,” declaring that the sorority welcomes both “women” and “individuals who identify as women.”