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Golfer Lana Lawless Sues LPGA over Female at Birth Rule

By Caleb Groos on October 13, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Professional golfer Lana Lawless has sued the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the Long Drive Association (LDA), along with sponsors of LPGA and LDA events in California over rules requiring female participants to have been female at birth. Lawless claims she was deemed ineligible for membership in the LPGA due to being a transgender woman. Lawless won the 2008 LDA Women's Long Drive Championship, but her complaint alleges the LDA subsequently revised its entry requirements to exclude transgendered people.

Lawless seeks damages as well as an injunction to prevent the LPGA and LDA from holding events in California as long as their female at birth requirements remain. Her suit claims violations of California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, as well as unfair competition, and intentional interference with economic advantage under California law.

Under California's Unruh Act, all people in the state are "free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever."

As Ms. Lawless states it, "I could participate in female wrestling in international Olympic events but, here in my own state, in my chosen profession, because of blatant prejudice, I am excluded and discriminated against."

Lawless v. LPGA Complaint


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