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Transgender SoCal Golfer Suing LPGA Over Gender Rule

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Lana Lawless

Transgender golfer Lana Lawless (Photo from Long Drivers)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – A transgender woman is suing the LPGA over a requirement which states all competitors must be “female at birth.”

Lana Lawless, a 57-year-old from Palm Springs, underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2005, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco claiming the policy violates California’s civil rights laws.

Read The Full Complaint (.pdf)

Lawless won the women’s world championship in long-drive golf in 2008, but was barred from competing this year because Long Drivers of America — which oversees the event — had changed its policy to mirror that of the LPGA.

The suit, filed the day before the CVS LPGA Challenge at the Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, seeks to prevent the LPGA from holding events in California until the policy is changed, as well as an unspecified amount in damages from Long Drivers of America and two of its title sponsors.

“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,” Lawless said. “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.”

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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