In a rather surprising ruling for this day and age, a judge has deemed that the Miss United States of America Pageant (Miss USoA) is within its constitutional rights to restrict the contest to only biological females.
The pageant, which is not to be confused with Miss America or Miss USA, is for unmarried women between the ages of 20 and 29 and has several associated divisions under the broader United States of America Pageants.
In 2019, the Miss USoA was sued by a transgender woman by the name of Anita Noelle Green whose application to participate was rejected.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman, however, ruled that the pageant has a First Amendment right to restrict their competitors to only biological females.
“Because I viewed it as an organization that does promote a message and seeks to maintain control of that message, I view it as an association that cannot under the Constitution be required to allow the plaintiff to participate in what the defendant says is a contradiction of that message,” he ruled from the bench.
Green, who holds the titles of 2019 Miss Earth Elite Oregon and competed in the 2018 Miss Montana contest, said that the case had nonetheless “case brought awareness to an issue many people were and still are unaware of and that issue is that discrimination against transgender people is still actively happening in the private and public sector even within the pageant circuit.”
“I believe Miss United States of America is on the wrong side of history for choosing to actively discriminate against transgender people, but the road to creating meaningful change has always been a long and bumpy one,” Green also said.
“Transgender women are women. My message has always been consistent and my message is this: Every person has beauty.”
Miss USoA’s lawyer John T. Kaempf clarified after the ruling that his client “is not anti-transgender” and only “wants to be able to hold a pageant that is only for biological females.”
“Contrary to what people might think, my client, the pageant, is a supporter of diversity,” Kaempf said. “It believes there can be a Miss Black USA pageant, a Miss Native American pageant or a transgender pageant.”
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