Image
LEGAL NEWS
Image

U.S. beauty pageant can exclude transgender contestants, court rules

Yahoo News
Daniel Wiessner
Wed, November 2, 2022
 
(Reuters) - Beauty pageant operator United States of America LLC cannot be forced to allow transgender women to compete because doing so would interfere with its ability to express "the ideal vision of American womanhood," a U.S. appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision rejected a lawsuit by Anita Green, a transgender activist, claiming that Miss United States of America's policy of only allowing "natural born" women to compete violates an Oregon anti-discrimination law.

Green, who is from Oregon, sued the company in federal court in Portland last year after her application to participate in the pageant was rejected. Miss United States of America does business as United States of America Pageants.

The 9th Circuit said applying the Oregon law, which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in public accommodations, to Miss United States of America would violate the pageant's free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution. The court agreed with the company that it expresses its views on womanhood by determining who can compete.
"It is commonly understood that beauty pageants are generally designed to express the 'ideal vision of American womanhood,'" wrote Circuit Judge Lawrence VanDyke, an appointee of former Republican President Donald Trump.

VanDyke was joined by Circuit Judge Carlos Bea, an appointee of former Republican President George W. Bush.

The ruling affirmed a 2021 decision by a federal judge dismissing Green's lawsuit.

Miss United States of America and a lawyer for Green did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In a dissenting opinion, 9th Circuit Judge Susan Graber said the court should have first decided whether the Oregon law applies to the company at all before weighing the constitutional issues. Graber was appointed to the 9th Circuit by former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.

(This story has been corrected to fix name of pageant. A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Miss United States of America as Miss USA. Miss USA is a separate pageant operated by a different company.)

(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York; Editing by Alexia Garamfalvi and Mark Porter)
 
Image
 TRADEMARKS
Image
 
TRADEMARKS:
 
Miss International Beauty®, Teen International Beauty®, Ms. International Beauty® and USA International® are part of the Ms. America Pageant Inc. system which is a California Corporation that currently owns and runs the Ms. America®, Ms. International®, Ms. America® International, Ms. America® Elite and Miss Pacific U.S. Pageants. Based in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the Corporation is owned by Susan Jeske Irvine who is the CEO.

Miss International Beauty ® is a registered federal trademark with the USPTO in Washington D.C. Louise Madlin was first owner & then transferred over to the Ms. America Pageant Inc. CEO is Susan Jeske Irvine.
Registration No. 4304783
First use in commerce: April 3, 1977

Ms. International Beauty ® is a registered federal trademark with the USPTO in Washington D.C. Ms. America Pageant Inc. is first owner. CEO is Susan Jeske Irvine.
Registration No. 6207353
First use in commerce: September 5, 2020

Teen International Beauty ® is a registered federal trademark with the USPTO in Washington D.C. First owner is Ms. America Pageant Inc. CEO is Susan Jeske Irvine.
Registration No. 6330915
First use in commerce: August 1, 2020

USA International ® is a registered federal trademark with the USPTO in Washington D.C. Louise Madlin was first owner & then transferred over to the Ms. America Pageant Inc. CEO is Susan Jeske Irvine.
Registration No. 4304784
First use in commerce: April 1977

Ms. America ® is a registered federal trademark with the USPTO in Washington D.C. Susan Jeske was first owner & then transferred over to the Ms. America Pageant Inc. CEO is Susan Jeske Irvine.
Registration No. 6112852 & 2321477
First use in commerce: June 1997

Ms. International ® is a registered federal trademark with the USPTO in Washington D.C. Ms. America Pageant Inc. is the first owner. CEO is Susan Jeske Irvine.
Registration No. 6383156
First use in commerce: October 1, 2010


 
Image
MISS INTERNATIONAL BEAUTY® & USA INTERNATIONAL® HISTORY

Letter from Louise Madlins daughter asking Susan Jeske to carry on her mothers 40-year legacy and takeover her pageants and registered trademarks, Miss International Beauty and USA International.
Image
Image
MS. AMERICA®
Trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington D.C.
Two incontestable Ms. America Registrations - No. 6112852 & 2321477
First use in commerce: June 1997
Image
Click on image to view closely.

 
Image
Click on image to view closely.

 
 
Image
MISS INTERNATIONAL BEAUTY®
Trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington D.C.
 
Image
Click on image to view closely.

 
Image
 

USA INTERNATIONAL®
Trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington D.C.
 
Image
Click on image to view closely.

 
Image
 

MS. INTERNATIONAL BEAUTY®
Trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington D.C.
Image
Click on image to view closely.

 
Image
 

TEEN INTERNATIONAL BEAUTY®
Trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington D.C.
Image
Click on image to view closely. 

 
Image
 
MS. INTERNATIONAL®
Trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington D.C.
Image
Click on image to view closely.
Image