Lana Lawless, a 57-year-old transgender woman, is suing the LPGA after being denied entry into qualifying events for the women’s professional golf tour.
Lawless, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2005, is legally female, but was denied by the LPGA, which requires its members to be born female. She claims her civil rights are being violated.
“I have traveled a long road to get to where I am now, a place where I always belonged as a strong, proud, capable woman. I am, in all respects, legally, and physically female. The State of California recognizes me as such and the LPGA should not be permitted to come into California and blatantly violate my rights. I just want to have the same opportunity to play professional golf as any other woman,” Lawless said.
A former male SWAT team member, Lawless won the 2008 Women’s Long Drive Association championship at 55, but was subsequently banned from all further competitions after the LDA changed its rules to mirror the LPGA’s.
Lawless is seeking to keep the LPGA from staging any more events in California, in addition to unspecified damages from the LPGA, LDA, and certain sponsors.
What do you think? Should Lawless be allowed to compete in LPGA events? Or would it be unfair to other LPGA members?