Doe v. Ladies Pro Bowler

This court case is completed

In the early 1990s, ACLU-WA represented a male-to-female transsexual who was discriminated against by a professional bowling company. Jane Doe was a professional bowler who joined the Ladies Pro Bowler Tour in 1981 and frequently bowled in the organization’s tournaments and events. In 1988, Ms. Doe was required by LPBT to prove that she was female, and she complied with several gender tests, including a strip search. In 1989, the LPBT amended its rules and required that female bowlers, when requested, must also take a smear test to prove their biological gender – i.e. a test where the inside of their cheeks of would be swabbed and the collected cells tested to determine her true gender. Ms. Doe was singled out to undergo this test, and failure to comply would have resulted in her bowling league membership not being renewed. On January 10, 1991, Ms. Doe sued the LPBT on the grounds that this new policy violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination. In July 1992, the parties agreed on a settlement offer, where Ms. Doe was permitted to participate in LPBT events without having to undergo a smear test, and the LPBT modified their gender eligibility rules. ACLU-WA cooperating attorney, Stephen K. Strong, of Bendic, Stobaugh, and Strong, along with Lonnie Smith of the Disabilities Law Project, were Ms. Doe’s attorneys.
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