The six women who sued national sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma in March appealed their case Monday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, exactly one month after a judge allowed a biological man accused of sexual impropriety to remain in the sorority.
Jaylyn Westenbroek, Hannah Holtmeier, Allison Coghan, Grace Choate, Madeline Ramar and Megan Kosar were members of the KKG chapter at the University of Wyoming when Artemis Langford, a man who self-identifies as a woman, joined in 2022.
The suit claimed KKG and its Fraternity Council President violated the sorority’s woman-only rules by admitting Langford. The women also claimed Langford’s admission caused them “loss of privacy, contractual frustration and emotional distress, alleging he, among other violations, watched women in the sorority house — sometimes without their knowledge — before becoming visibly aroused.
Judge Alan B. Johnson dismissed the suit in August, arguing KKG had a first amendment right to determine their organization’s definition of “woman.” Johnson further wrote the women’s claims about Langford’s behavior were “unbefitting federal court” because the case was not brought against him.
Langford isn’t named in the appeal. It’s unclear how much he will be mentioned in written arguments — if at all.
May Mailman, an attorney for the Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC), is helping appeal the case.
“IWLC will always fight for women when those in power warp the English language to remove the same opportunities that have benefited women for decades,” Mailman wrote in a statement Monday.
The IWLC’s Vice President of Communications, Victoria Coley, further claims the court won’t need to define “woman,” as Judge Johnson refused to do in August. “Woman is, and has long been, defined,” Coley explains in an email to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
“The court only needs to recognize the English language.”
Though some media outlets have been overtly supportive of Langford, whom one journalist described as a “very brave woman,” the women have received almost $63,000 toward their legal expenses from supportive donors.
“(Women) are so much more complex and beautiful than the clothes we wear or the hormones we have,” the women write on their donation page, “(We) are not caricatures.”
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