In Natalie Ryan Settlement, PDGA Drops Pre-Puberty Transition Rule for Transgender Women


Ryan
will
be
eligible
to
play
at
all
2024-2025
events;
PDGA,
DGPT
were
incurring
significant
legal
expenses
fighting
lawsuits

Natalie
Ryan
in
round
one
at
the
2023
OTB
Open.
Photo:
DGPT

In
a
stunning
reversal,
the
Professional
Disc
Golf
Association

dropped
their
rule

barring
transgender
women
from
competing
in
FPO
at
Elite
Series
events
and
Majors
unless
they
had
undergone
their
gender
transition
prior
to
going
through
puberty,
the
organization
announced
on
Friday
afternoon.

The
rule
change,
which
goes
into
effect
on
January
1,
2024,
and
will
be
in
place
through
at
least
the
end
of
the
2025
season,
immediately
makes

Natalie
Ryan

and
other
transgender
women
who
have
gone
through
at
least
two
years
of
hormone
therapy
eligible
to
compete
in
FPO
at
all
PDGA
events.

The
PDGA’s
decision
to
drop
the

controversial
clause

in
the
gender
eligibility
rules
comes
as
part
of
a
settlement
with
Ryan,
who
agreed
to
drop
all
pending
lawsuits
against
the
organization
in
California
and
Minnesota.
Other
terms
of
the
settlement
have
not
been
made
public.

Ryan
has
already
signed
up
for
a
2024
Tour
Card
and
intends
to
play
at
most
DGPT
and
Major
events.
“I’m
excited
to
announce
that
the
PDGA,
DGPT,
and
I
have
reached
an
agreement,”
Ryan

wrote
on
Instagram
.
“All
trans
women
will
be
equals
at
the
elite
level
again.
This
is
my
victory.
I
had
to
be
ruthless
to
get
them
to
listen.
I’m
glad
I
can
put
that
side
of
myself
away.
Now,
I
am
hopeful
that
our
sport
can
start
fresh
and
grow
to
be
a
place
that
truly
welcomes
and
celebrates
everyone.”

“It
has
been
an
honor
and
a
privilege
to
represent
Natalie
in
this
matter,
which
has
now
been
resolved
to
her
satisfaction,”
said
Ryan’s
lawyer
Brian
Sciacca.
“I
look
forward
to
watching
her
play
this
year
without
carrying
the
weight
of
this
litigation
in
her
heart
and
mind.”

The
PDGA
and
DGPT
incurred
significant
legal
expenses
fighting
Ryan’s
lawsuits,
and
they
took
losses
in

Minnesota
state
court

and

California
district
court
,
though
the
latter
decision
was

overruled
on
appeal
.
After
The
Preserve,
the
DGPT
said
they
would
be

canceling
FPO
competition

at
multiple
upcoming
tournaments
due
to
potential
legal
liability
and
serious
financial
concerns,
but
later

reinstated
FPO
and
allowed
Ryan
to
play

at
those
tournaments
under
a
“United
Series”
designation.

“The
PDGA
is
not
financially
or
logistically
in
a
position
to
take
the
lead
in
multi-state
litigation
on
this
topic,”
wrote
the
PDGA
in
a
statement.
“For
the
first
time
in
recent
memory,
the
PDGA
will
end
the
year
with
a
net
operating
loss,
and
it
is
not
in
the
best
interest
of
our
members
to
continue
to
allocate
resources
to
further
litigation.”

The
PDGA
said
that
they
stood
by
their
decision
to
implement
the
pre-puberty
rule
prior
to
the
2023
season
but
that
“it
has
become
apparent
that
the
law
is
not
settled
on
this
issue.”

The
PDGA
still
maintains

restrictions
on
transgender
women

who
want
to
compete
in
female-only
divisions,
including
a
testosterone
limit
and
a
two-year
hormone
replacement
requirement.
The
DGPT
is

further
restricting

transgender
women
at
their
events
to
have
undergone
male-to-female
gender
affirming
surgery,
the
organization
said
in
a
statement.

“While
the
DGPT
did
not
wish
to
see
adjustments
to
the
policy
at
this
time,
the
Tour
recognizes
the
PDGA
as
the
regulatory
authority
and
governing
body
of
the
sport
empowered
to
set
these
policies,”
said
the
DGPT
press
release.
“It’s
become
clear
that
the
sport
of
disc
golf
cannot
bear
the
weight
of
adjudicating
this
issue
on
a
national
or
international
level
at
this
time.”

Both
the
PDGA
and
DGPT
said
they
would
continue
to
evaluate
local,
state
and
federal
laws,
as
well
as
International
Olympic
Committee
guidance,
on
the
issue
as
they
plan
for
competition
rules
in
2026
and
beyond.

Original source

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