LARAMIE, WY – The University of Wyoming chapter of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against it by both former and current members for allowing a transgender person – a biological male who identifies as female – to join their ranks.
The lawsuit was originally filed in March because the plaintiffs say they have been made to “live in constant fear in our home” after the group was forced to accept a transgender woman – 6-foot-2, 260-pound Artemis Langford, 21 – into their group, who they say regularly gets noticeably sexually aroused around them.
The lawsuit claims that on many occasions, Langford – referred to by the “deadname” of “Terry Smith” and male pronouns in the lawsuit – often spends hours at a time staring at the women in the house without saying anything, often doing so with “an erection visible through his leggings.” Another sorority member claimed that they saw Langford “watching her silently” while she was walking down the hall in a towel to take a shower.
“Some girls live in constant fear in their home and our home is supposed to be a safe space,” said one of the plaintiffs. “It is seriously an only-female space. It is so different than living in the dorms, for instance, where men and women can commingle on the floors.”
However, this week the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority chapter fought back against what they referred to as the “frivolous” lawsuit, filing a motion with a judge to have it dismissed; they also defended their decision to allow the transgender student to join, suggesting that the plaintiffs motivations for suing were political.
“The central issue in this case is simple: do the plaintiffs have a legal right to be in a sorority that excludes transgender women? They do not,” the motion said. “Plaintiffs request the Court to insert itself into this controversial political debate and declare that a private organization can only interpret the term ‘woman’ using Plaintiffs’ exclusionary definition of biologically born females.”
Kappa Kappa Gamma also said that the members filing the lawsuit could simply resign from the sorority if “a position of inclusion is too offensive to their personal values.”
The plaintiffs had originally sought to keep their identities anonymous, but were ordered by a U.S. District Court judge to publicly confirm their identities if they wished to proceed with their lawsuit; six of the seven sorority sisters complied with the order, revealing their names: Jaylyn Westenbroek, Hannah Holtmeier, Allison Coghan, Grace Choate, Madeline Ramar and Megan Kosar.