The Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority has kicked two of its longtime sisters out of the organization, reportedly over their support of a lawsuit filed by members of the University of Wyoming chapter challenging the sorority’s induction of a transgender member.
The sorority’s council voted out past Kappa Kappa Gamma National Foundation President Patsy Levang, and longtime active member and supporter Cheryl Tuck-Smith, according to a recent statement by the Independent Women’s Forum.
The women were each sorority members for at least 50 years, says the statement.
“I was hurt when I was terminated as a member of KKG, but also disturbed that KKG has become a political tool rather than an organization that promotes women,” said Tuck-Smith in the statement. “My dismissal simply spurs me on to educate others about the dangers of DEI, which in reality does not support diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Levang said her dismissal saddened her, but that, “I will not be quiet about the truth.”
KKG spokeswoman Mary Holloman countered in an email, saying the sorority cannot share information about its internal processes, but pointed to a recent federal ruling in Wyoming upholding the organization’s right to dictate its own terms of membership.
That case was Westenbroek v. Kappa, in which six women sued the sorority for allegedly violating its own rules and voting processes in inducting a transgender member at its University of Wyoming chapter.
The women are appealing U.S. District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson’s dismissal of their lawsuit in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Gonna Talk Though
The Independent Women’s Forum, which advocates for women’s rights, attached what it says is the correspondence between the two dismissed sisters and sorority leaders.
A sorority “standards director” reached out to both women in September, accusing them of violating sorority policies.
Levang demanded specifics in a Sept. 26 reply letter and accused the sorority of retaliating against her.
“The Fraternity’s actions in seeking my dismissal because I have been open about my objection to the Fraternity’s conduct constitutes an abuse of corporate power and retaliation,” she wrote. “It is antithetical to the Fraternity’s mission and traditions and runs afoul of the applicable law regarding the protection of minority rights in voluntary membership organizations.”
Tuck-Smith also demanded specifics and leveled retaliation accusations against KKG.
The For-Your-Own-Good Charge
The KKG leader responded to the women Oct. 16 to furnish specifics.
Levang dispatched an Aug. 5 essay to Alumnae Association Presidents backing the Wyoming sorority sisters’ litigation and “soliciting donations to fund litigation against the Fraternity,” says the KKG official’s letter.
Three weeks later, Levang reportedly updated the Alumnae Association Presidents on the lawsuit’s status.
Also, Levang spoke to the media about the litigation. The official’s letter alleges that these interviews harmed the sorority.
Tuck-Smith sent an Oct. 26 letter to an official, accusing the sorority of not holding its own actions to the highest standard. She also emphasized that the Kappa women’s lawsuit is a derivative action, which means it’s a lawsuit brought on behalf of an organization allegedly wrapped up in its own self-destructive maneuvers.
Tuck-Smith accused the sorority of openly disregarded the induction rules it universally applies to prospective female members, making an exception for transgender inductee Artemis Langford.
For example, the sorority allegedly suspended its rule that members must maintain a high grade-point average to accommodate Langford. Tuck-Smith called this discriminatory behavior.
The Necessity Of This
A KKG official wrote both women two-paragraph letters Nov. 1 to tell them they each, respectively, were dismissed from the sorority as of Oct. 29, 2023.
“The Fraternity regrets the necessity of this action,” the letter concludes.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.