Here’s another gender-sensitive case involving a professional golfer who used to be a man but who has preferred to become a woman.
Apparently, professional golfer Lana Lawless’ preference will bar him or her from the L.P.G.A. Challenge in Danville, California. The court-decided case on 19-year old South African runner Caster Semenya could not be applied here because Lawless in not a hermaphrodite but is a transgender.
The 57-year old Lawless was born a male but became a woman in 2005 after a gender reassignment surgery.
The LPGA allowed Lawless to play in 2008 but banned her from the 2010 LPGA Championship. The competition rules provide that the players should be “female at birth” so this has been pointed out by the LPGA and the Long Drivers of America to justify the ban.
Lawless has however sued the LPGA and the Long Drivers of America for civil rights discrimination. “It’s an issue of access and opportunity,” Lawless told the New York Times. “I’ve been shut out because of prejudice.”
Professional sports has seen a lot of transgenders and some groups allow them to participate in competitions including the United States Golf Association (USGA). USGA rules provide that “In the event that a player has had gender reassignment surgery at any point after puberty, that player must provide certain documentation to the USGA.”
Transgenders are also allowed to compete in the Ladies European Golf Tour, the Ladies Golf Union in Britain and the International Olympic Committee.
The corporate sponsors of the LPGA Championship and the Long Drivers— Re/Max and CVS and Dick’s Sporting Good, are also being sued by Lawless.