Pageant May Not Allow Transgender Women: A federal appeals court has decided that the organization that runs the Miss United States of America contest cannot be compelled to allow openly transgender women to participate in the pageant’s competitions.
The court stated that the organization’s freedom to express its conviction that the competition is only for “natural born” girls would be hindered if it were required to do this.
Wednesday, the judges on the 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals decided not to hear the complaint that was filed by Anita Green, an activist who identifies as transgender. Green has asserted that the eligibility standards of Miss United States of America, which require all contestants to be “natural born females,” are in violation of anti-discrimination legislation in the state of Oregon, where Green currently resides.
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In 2019, Green filed her initial complaint against Miss United States of America LLC in an Oregon district court. This company operates under the name United States of America Pageants.
According to Green, she attempted to contact the pageant’s National Director Tanice Smith about modifying the policies, but she was unsuccessful. She did not withdraw from the competition and still submitted her application, but it was denied.
It is important to note that the Miss United States of America LLC competition should not be confused with the Miss USA pageants, which do welcome transgender contestants.
Green called the pageant’s policy arbitrary
In an interview conducted in 2019, Green stated to NPR, “I don’t think someone should be denied the opportunity to compete simply because they are transgender.” “I believe that to be a highly arbitrary decision. Transgender women are equal to cisgender women.
“Pageantry, in my opinion, is not only about the way a person appears at all. It’s about giving them a voice, that’s what it’s about to me,” Green remarked.
According to the order issued by the judges, the criterion for eligibility to compete in the Miss United States of America pageant falls under the First Amendment’s protection against being forced to engage in speech. The justices, by a vote of 2-1, disagreed with Green’s assessment that this conduct is unlawful under the Oregon Public Accommodations Act.
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“The panel remarked that it is generally acknowledged that beauty pageants are often aimed to portray the ‘ideal picture of American womanhood,’ and they pointed out that this was something that they did note. “If the Pageant were obliged to allow Green to compete, it would be unable to promote ‘the celebration of biological women,'” the order adds.
The judges continued by saying that they had reached the following conclusion: “The panel found that compelling the Pageant to accept Green as a participant would fundamentally alter the Pageant’s expressive message in blatant violation of the First Amendment.”
The order upheld a ruling from a prior district court proceeding. An instant response to a request for comment from attorneys representing Green and Miss United States of America was not given.
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