A transgender competitor has been removed from the Disc Golf Pro Tour following a court ruling.
Transgender disc golfer Natalie Ryan, a biological male who claims to be a “woman,” has been battling in court to compete in the female event.
The Disc Golf Pro Tour was pushed into the spotlight over the weekend after Ryan saw his chances of possibly winning a California tournament disappear due to an appeal of a court ruling.
The Professional Disc Golf Association tightened its rules on transgender participation in December.
The updated rules would have kept Ryan out of the women’s division.
According to OutSports, he filed a discrimination lawsuit in February, saying the tour’s decision was based on “prejudice.”
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley granted Ryan a temporary restraining order to allow him to play.
“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.
“The Court makes no determinations as to whether this is sufficient to actually establish intentional discrimination, but it raises serious questions.”
The PDGA’s rules state that transgenders may play in the women’s division if they meet one of the criteria laid out.
The criteria state that transgenders must have under 2nmol/L for two years or have had a “medical transition during Tanner Stage 2 or before age 12, whichever is later” and “the player must also continuously maintain a total testosterone level in serum below 2.0 nmol/L.”
Nunley took exception to the “transition” part of the criteria.
“This section appears to directly target an individual’s sex and gender by creating a temporal line when one must transition,” Nunley wrote.
“Those who fail to comport with this timeline are forever barred from the FPO.
“This policy seems inextricably tied to sex and gender and, at this stage of litigation, the Court can see no way to separate them.
“Accordingly, the Court finds serious questions going to the merits of the intentional discrimination claim.”
On Friday, the tour filed an appeal of the ruling and won after Ryan had already completed the first round.
According to Ultiworld, Ryan was subsequently removed from the tournament after finishing the day in fifth.
“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 Court of Appeals wrote in its decision, via Ultiworld.
The Disc Golf Pro Tour added: “This order restores the DGPT’s ability to enforce its current policy on Gender Eligibility.
“The DGPT will follow the court’s ruling and enforce its Gender Eligibility Policy which will disallow Ms. [sic] Ryan from continuing competition in the OTB Open.”
Ryan vowed in an Instagram post that he won’t back down.
“I will not be threatened, I will not be intimidated, I will not be erased,” he declared.
“It is a breath of fresh air to be competing where I belong,” he wrote.
“To all the trans folks out there that love this sport as much as I do, I’m here for you, we all deserve better.”
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