Nov
18
2010
LPGA Gets Ready to Lift Transgender Ban
By Stephanie Wei under LPGA

If you weren’t a “female at birth” yet wanted to join the LPGA, you may soon have the opportunity.

Last month Lana Lawless, a 57-year-old trans-woman who had gender reassignment surgery in 2005, filed a lawsuit against the LPGA, claiming its constitutional bylaw that states all competitors must be “female at birth” violates California civil rights law. The LPGA is now preparing a vote to overturn that requirement in a player meeting at the LPGA Tour Championship on November 30, according to the Golf Channel’s Randall Mell:

In a special “one-agenda item” meeting at the Hana Bank Championship in South Korea at the end of October, LPGA players were briefed on the upcoming vote and the vital nature of it. According to sources familiar with the meeting, LPGA players were told the “female at birth” provision was created “in a different time” and would be a significant challenge to defend legally today. Players were also informed that the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. Golf Association, the Ladies European Tour and the British Ladies Golf Union are among sports organizations that have already amended their bylaws to allow transgender participation.

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan and the LPGA’s executive committee are expected to recommend the change to the association’s bylaws.

Lawless’ lawyer Christopher Dolan said if the LPGA membership doesn’t vote to overturn the rule, then he will seek an injunction to prevent the LPGA from doing business in California.

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. Maybe both? I’m speechless.