Washington, D.C. — Independent Women’s Forum and Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) are supporting the appeal of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority women who were denied the all-female sisterhood they were promised. On Monday, the plaintiff sorority members in Westenbroek v. Kappa Kappa Gamma filed a notice to appeal in the District of Wyoming, which moves the case to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Wyoming court ruled that the plaintiff sorority members were not entitled to a women’s-only sorority, even though Kappa Kappa Gamma’s bylaws require a women’s only sorority, because the word “woman” is subject to interpretation. 

“Our battle has only begun, and we are all very excited that IWLC has decided to support and join us in this fight to protect women’s spaces,” said the women forced to give up their sorority experience. “With their support, we can continue to fight for the women that deserve respect in the present and in the future.”

The Wyoming court’s decision, finding that “woman” lacks meaning, is not only obviously wrong, but dangerous in terms of protecting women’s rights in innumerable areas. Sororities were founded to provide a single-sex space for women, and Kappa Kappa Gamma’s board members cannot eliminate that promise simply by redefining the word. IWLC looks forward to presenting this case in the court of appeals.

“Independent Women’s Law Center will always fight for women when those in power warp the English language to remove the same opportunities that have benefited women for decades,” said Independent Women’s Law Center attorney appealing the case, May Mailman. “These young women deserve the promise of Kappa’s bylaws just like all American women and girls deserve the privacy, camaraderie, safety, and fairness promised in female-only environments.”

Kappa Kappa Gamma was founded in 1870 by six college women who bravely stood together to create a supportive place for women to live, learn and together face the challenges of their university experience. Over the decades, sororities have heralded the benefits and values of a single sex environment to develop women’s life and leadership skills.

Read the notice to appeal here. Brief to follow in the coming months. 

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