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Federal court denies appeal to force transgender UW student out of her sorority

A brick wall with the acronym KKG.
Chris Clements
Wyoming Public Media
Kappa Kappa Gamma on May 14, 2024, on the University of Wyoming campus.

This story is part of our new Quick Hits series. This series will bring you breaking news and short updates from throughout the state.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an appeal from a group of University of Wyoming sorority sisters seeking to sue their sorority for admitting a transgender woman.

In its judgment, the court wrote it couldn’t make a decision because the lower district court hasn’t yet issued its final order.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson dismissed the original case against Kappa Kappa Gamma, saying private groups are allowed to choose their own members.

But he left the door open for the sorority sisters to re-file their complaint.

Instead, the sisters opted to appeal the case up to the federal 10th Circuit.

“[The defendants] argue that because the district court expressly denied their request to dismiss the claims with prejudice,” the court wrote, “and further because the district court offered guidance to [the plaintiffs] regarding how to amend the complaint, there is no final, appealable order.”

In the end, the 10th Circuit agreed with that argument, kicking the case back down to district court.

The plaintiffs have argued that trans women aren’t women, and that the sorority breached its own rules when it admitted a transgender woman.

This is a breaking news story and may be updated.

This reporting was made possible by a grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, supporting state government coverage in the state. Wyoming Public Media and Jackson Hole Community Radio are partnering to cover state issues both on air and online.

Chris Clements is a state government reporter and digital media specialist for Wyoming Public Media based in Laramie. He came to WPM from KSJD Radio in Cortez, Colorado, where he reported on Indigenous affairs, drought, and local politics in the Four Corners region. Before that, he graduated with a degree in English (Creative Writing) from Arizona State University. Chris's news stories have been featured on KUNC, NPR newscasts, and National Native News, among others.