Green v. Miss USA LLC
Green v. Miss USA LLC (U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Cir., Nov. 2, 2022): A Ninth Circuit panel held that the First Amendment’s protection against compelled speech applies to the Miss USA Pageant’s “natural born female” eligibility requirement. Plaintiff Anita Green, a transgender woman who competes in beauty pageants, applied to compete in the Miss USA pageant but was denied entry. She sued the organization, arguing that under Oregon law the Pageant discriminated unlawfully based on gender. The Pageant claimed that the forced inclusion of Green and other transgender contestants in the pageant would violate its free speech rights, and the appellate court agreed. The court reasoned that the organization has a right to express its ideal version of womanhood and that the decision to limit contestants to “naturally born women” conveys a message that is protected by free speech. Read the full decision here.