In the never-ending culture war, victories can come from unlikely places and in unlikely ways. Look no further than a California court ruling on a disc golf tournament last week as a perfect example.
The Disc Golf Pro Tour (DGPT) issued an appeal to the U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley regarding a discrimination lawsuit filed against it by transgender athlete Natalie Ryan, a biological man who was attempting to compete in the women’s division of the OTB Open in Stockton, California this past weekend.
Initially, Ryan wasn’t allowed to compete in the women’s division thanks to a rule update by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA, the governing body that oversees the DGPT). The PDGA stated that transgender women could only compete in the women’s division if they underwent transition surgery after the age of 12 or maintained a certain testosterone level for two years. Ryan had done neither, making him ineligible to play in the OTB Open.
However, as is usually the case with gender-confused individuals, Ryan did not like this ruling and claimed that the DGPT was discriminating against him. HE sued the organization, and Nunley said that Ryan had to be allowed to compete while the case was making its way through the legal process.
“It appears there was an intentional act, the creation of a policy, that excludes individuals based on their protected status as transgender women,” Nunley wrote in his decision last Thursday. “The Court makes no determinations as to whether this is sufficient to actually establish intentional discrimination, but it raises serious questions.”
Ryan of course was pleased with the decision and publicly bragged about his victory.
“Today is a momentous win for trans athletes and I will see you all at OTB,” Ryan said before the tournament started. “Thank you your honor, for passing me a match. My fire is going to burn brighter than ever this weekend.”
However, Ryan’s victory was short-lived. The DGPT filed an emergency appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court on Friday - the same day the tournament started - to stop Ryan from competing, and the court ruled in its favor. But the court didn’t rule in the DGPT’s favor on the basis that biological men shouldn't be allowed to compete in women's sports, but rather because the members of the case weren’t from multiple different states, meaning that Nunley didn’t have jurisdiction.
“It appears that the district court lacks diversity jurisdiction over the [Disc Golf Pro] Tour because Plaintiff and at least one member of the Tour are citizens of Virginia,” the Ninth Circuit wrote.
That’s a weird way to get to the right ruling, but hey, sometimes you just have to accept that you won and justice was served!
Ryan was unsurprisingly mad at the reversal of his fortune, and again took to publicly whining about the ruling.
“My removal from OTB was targeted just as the new policy was…they have only done this to hurt me,” Ryan said.
If Ryan was offended by the ruling, that’s on him. There are far more important reasons why the DGPT started this fight, mainly because Ryan is harming real women by forcing others to accept his delusions. In fact, Ryan has climbed to become the No. 5 player in the world in the women’s disc golf division, despite only having been competing in this category for a short time.
Disc golf as a sport recognized that Ryan poses both a short and long-term threat to women who have trained for years to get good at this game, and they are being proactive in protecting those efforts.
This is a step that too many sports leagues, states, and institutions are too afraid to take. Maybe they should take heart from the example that the PDGA and DGPT have set, two little-known sports governing bodies that have a whole lot of courage to stand up to transgenderism.