The Fight Rages On for Embattled Wyoming Sorority 

KelseyJ /
KelseyJ /

In May of 2023, a sorority at the University of Wyoming filed a lawsuit against Kappa Kappa Gamma for granting permission for a trans woman to move into their sorority house. The lawsuit stated that sorority leaders “betrayed the central purpose and mission of Kappa Kappa Gamma by conflating the experience of being a woman with the experience of men engaging in behavior generally associated with women.” 

The sorority sisters’ lawsuit claims Langford would stare at the girls in a common area for hours without talking. One of the complaints is that Langford becomes visibly aroused when in the presence of the sorority sisters.  

“There has been an exemption granted for his safety, but not for us,” one sister said. “They have decided that the individual does not need to live in the house, but this individual has gotten preferential treatment. (Langford) still comes to the house and engages in dinners and sits in chairs to watch the girls.” 

Among the many concerns cited in the suit were the shared bathroom facilities which have no locks. According to one Kappa Kappa Gamma member, “All of the bathrooms are shared spaces, and there are no private changing areas or locks. It’s very open and vulnerable.” 

A member claimed she was called a “bigot” and “transphobe” for refusing to shower or sleep in the same space as Langford. 

In March, Kappa Kappa Gamma issued a statement countering the lawsuit. “While we cannot comment in detail on this pending litigation, it contains numerous false allegations. Kappa Kappa Gamma values diversity and does not discriminate based on classes protected by state, local, or federal law.” 

The lawsuit named the Ohio-based non-profit Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Mary Pat Rooney, president of the fraternity council of Kappa Kappa Gamma fraternity, the non-profit corporation Kappa Kappa Gamma Building Co., and Langford. The lawsuit hit several snags and had to be refiled twice after it was determined that the women could not file the suit anonymously. 

On June 20th, Kappa Kappa Gamma filed a motion to dismiss the suit as a “frivolous” attempt to block Langford for “their own political purposes.”  The motion states that the term “woman” is “unquestionably open to many interpretations.”  It also claims that the term “woman” has evolved since the sorority was founded 150 years ago.  

“Plaintiffs request the Court to insert itself into this controversial political debate and declare that a private organization can only interpret the term ‘woman’ using Plaintiffs’ exclusionary definition of biologically born females,” the motion states, continuing, “Kappa defines its membership in its position statement adopted in 2015 as individuals who identify as women.” 

The filing went on to point out that their policies mirror the positions of 25 other sororities throughout Canada and the United States.  

The subject of the lawsuit has filed a separate supporting document to have the proceedings dismissed.  Langford’s attorneys note that the lawsuit, while revolving around Langford, never mentions wrongdoing and doesn’t seek to find relief from her. Her attorney claims that the suing members are flinging “dehumanizing mud” to “bully Ms. Langford on the national stage. Langford’s filing states, “This, alone, merits dismissal.” 

Prior to filing the suit, the sorority held a vote to determine if Langford should be admitted to Kappa Kappa Gamma, but their opinion meant nothing to the president and membership chair of the chapter. Instead, sorority leadership told members that they could drop out of the group if they have issues with Langford, a position they reiterated in their motion for dismissal. 

Some sisters are planning to do just that, and one is considering transferring out of the University of Wyoming altogether.  

“We lost quite a few members as a result of this,” one member explained. “I refuse to subvert my rights as a woman to cater towards the comfort of a man. Everyone needs to be treated with dignity … but there’s a line, and it has been crossed.” 

As for Langford, she seems to be living the plot of the 2002 film Sorority Girls, and it seems will be sharing the same abysmal rating for her acting abilities. As the late film critic Roger Ebert noted in his review of the ill-fated flop, “Because the intelligence level of the characters must be low, very low, very very low, for the masquerade to work, the movie contains no wit, only labored gags involving falsies, lipstick, and unruly erections.”