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Transgender golfer Lana Lawless sues LPGA, fighting for civil rights
57-year old Lana Lawless, a transgender golfer, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against LPGA challenging their requirement that you have to be "female at birth" to compete in the ladies league. Born male, a retired police officer, she underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2005 to become a woman. Now Lawless argues she has no advantage over her other female competitors because her testosterone levels are in line with that of other women. In the eyes of the state and the law Lawless is a woman, yet the LPGA is not allowing her to compete in the women's only league. Lawless claims this in violation of California civil rights laws. Lawless won the women's long drive championship in 2008 before Long Drivers of America switched to the LPGA's gender rule in 2009. Now she is banned from such events and attempting to qualify for any other LPGA competitions  Lawless at the 2008 World Long Drive Championship. (Golf Digest) LPGA says they can't comment because they haven't seen the lawuit. According to Golf Digest"]Golf Digest, Lawless is seeking unspecified damages from the LPGA, Long Drivers of America, LDA corporate sponsors Dick's Sporting Goods and Re/Max, and CVS, the title sponsor of this week's LPGA Tour stop in California.
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Pres release from Lawless and her lawyers include the following comments: [QUOTE] Lawless' attorney, Christopher Dolan of The Dolan Law Firm in San Francisco, stated, "California's civil rights laws prevent discrimination against all minorities, including transgender persons. The LPGA and LDA operate a number of high profile qualifying events and tournaments in California which are highly lucrative to their sponsors." "There are a handful of states which protect the civil rights of transgender persons. The intended outcome of this suit is to force the LPGA and the LDA to change their unlawful practices or be precluded from operating within California and other states, such as New York, which prohibit discrimination based on sexual reassignment. They will have to choose between continuing with their tournaments or their discrimination," continued Dolan. According to Lawless, "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." In stark contrast to the LPGA and LDA, the U.S. Golf Association has a gender policy which expressly includes gender reassigned females in its tournaments and activities. The International Olympic Committee, since 2004, has included transpeople in Olympic events. Likewise, the NCAA has a policy of inclusion for transpeople. "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," added Lawless. "Before I won the Re/Max Women's LDA Championship, the only requirement for participation was that I was over 18 and female. As a result of my winning the tournament, which was based on my skill, and not my gender, they changed the rules to require that I be born female. This is not only unlawful, it is shameful." "It is important to fight intolerance wherever it rears its ugly head. This unlawful activity harkens back to the days when African-Americans were precluded from qualifying and playing in professional golf tournaments. As Americans, we must always be vigilant against the poison and hatred bred from prejudice and discrimination. America was founded on the principal of tolerance for differences in beliefs and, over time, that principal has been recognized to include protection against discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, etc. The LPGA can't be permitted to violate California law. It is important for all Americans to protect against prejudice and preserve anti-discrimination laws; who know when they may find themselves in need of their protection," added Dolan. --Stina Sternberg [/QUOTE] Transgender woman files lawsuit against LPGA: Golf Digest Woman: Golf Digest
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Lana Lawless does have an advantage over the other women she would be competing against in the LPGA tour, because she was born a man - men typically have stronger and bigger bones, build muscle faster (though that may not be true now because of her changed hormone levels, it was true prior to her sexual reassignment surgery, and you don't just lose the muscle from a surgery), and perhaps it can be argued the different proportions/stature of someone born male is an advantage. She also still has a Y chromosome and it may be argued some things you just can't change during sexual reassignment surgery. Does it mean Lana Lawless or others like her shouldn't be able to compete in ladies-exclusive leagues? No. It is similiar to the advantages that exist in the all shapes and sizes world, like tennis players sisters Serena Williams and Venus Williams vs. Michelle Larcher de Brito - differences can be found among everyone (see them in the Tennis Grunting topic here: http://www.gymchat.com/messageboards/tennis-discussion/134443-grunting-get-winning-edge-tennis-match-just-exhaling.html). Lawless is a woman in the eyes of the state and the law, so she should be accepted to play in the LPGA as a woman like everyone else.
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LPGA Tour 2011, Schedule, Dates, Tickets, Prize Money.
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Hi, for more information on LPGA Tour 2011 tournaments information visit “Altiusdirectory.com”. LPGA Tou 2011
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