Jenna Talackova — armed with Gloria Allred as her lawyer — fires back at Miss Universe Canada

April 4, 2012

This might shock you considering my opinions on Gay Marriage, but if this were the United States I would say Ms. Talackova has a right to compete because there is no legitimate state interest in gender discrimination. That is how the SCOTUS has found things… and that is probably how I would see things as well. Of course I don’t know Canadian laws, but my guess is that they are more liberal then ours. She did lie about if she was born a woman or not, but she might very well see herself as always being a woman. Most certainly there are some people that are born without any gender at all and chose to go a certain direction… it all depends on how we declare gender. Even in the Torah there is no criteria of deciding what makes a man or woman. I suppose the Orthodox will remind us that the tradition is to not alter the human body, but she is not a Jew. So on what grounds… legal or moral do we have to throw her out of pageant?

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(National Post)On Monday, amid mounting public backlash, the organization reversed the decision, but added the caveat that Ms. Talackova must meet “the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada.” During Tuesday’s press conference, Ms. Talackova produced her Canadian passport, which identifies her as a woman, and called on Mr. Trump to say, “in plain words whether or not I will be allowed to compete.”
“I have never asked for any special consideration, I only wanted to compete,” she said.
The Miss Universe Organization has also asked that Ms. Talackova meet the “standards established by other international competitions.” As a result, Ms. Talackova’s bid for Miss Universe inclusion could go global, Ms. Page said. “Maybe that’s what Trump and company have in mind,” she said.
Ms. Allred is known for representing high-profile clients, such as: English actress Charlotte Lewis, who alleged that director Roman Polanski had sexually abused her as a teen; Nicole Brown Simpson’s family during the O.J. Simpson murder trial; and a number of Tiger Woods’ ex-lovers.
“[Donald] Trump has caved in a bit already. He has to go the rest of the way and say it loudly, and say it clearly, that not only will Jenna be allowed to compete, but that the rule is gone — no ifs, ands, buts or ors. No conditions and no excuses,” Ms. Allred told reporters.
“Otherwise, we are considering all of Jenna’s legal options.”
As international competitions go, the Olympics have typically been the staging ground for transgendered issues, with women who were born male being accused of having an unfair advantage. In 2004, just before the Athens Olympics, the International Olympic Committee ruled that transexuals could compete, as long as they had completed sex reassignment surgery — and had undergone hormone therapy for at least two years.
In the case of a beauty pageant, it is “hard to claim that Ms. Talackova has an unfair advantage over other women competing for the crown,” reads a March 29 blog post by Mercedes Allen, operator of the Alberta transgendered website AlbertaTrans.org.
Ms. Talackova says she has known she was a female since she was four years old. She began hormone therapy at 14 and had sex reassignment surgery in 2010. “Since I was conscious I always felt this way,” she wrote in an email to Postmedia News two weeks ago.
Ms. Talackova “understandably realizes that her case could be a significant landmark for the dignity and liberty of LGBTQ citizens everywhere,” reads a weekend statement by Talackova spokesman Rory Richards. The 61st annual Miss Universe Canada pageant will begin May 11 in Toronto.(MORE)