ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—LPGA players have voted to allow transgender players to compete on tour in response to a lawsuit filed by a California woman who had her sex changed five years ago.
The players voted to remove the “female at birth” requirement from the tour’s constitution at a year-end meeting at the LPGA Tour Championship, commissioner Michael Whan said. He said steps will be taken in the coming weeks to make the change.
Lana Lawless, a former police officer who had the sex change operation, filed the federal lawsuit in San Francisco in October claiming the “female at birth” requirement violated California’s civil rights law. The 57-year-old Lawless wanted to prevent the LPGA from conducting tournaments in the state until it changed its policy and was seeking unspecified damages.
Lawless also sued three tour sponsors and the Long Drivers of America, which followed the LPGA policy. Lawless won the annual women’s long-drive golf championship in 2008 with a 254-yard drive, but was barred from competing this year after organizers adopted the LPGA’s gender rules.
“I think it is a major civil rights victory,” Christopher Dolan, an attorney for Lawless, told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday. “We are pleased that the LPGA has voted to end this archaic and outdated policy.”
Dolan cautioned that the final changes are not expected for a couple weeks. Read the rest here.