Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Gaily News: Miss Universe organizers reconsider transgender contestant

Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 9:40 AM

After being disqualified from competition last month, a transgender beauty queen might be able to compete in Canada's Miss Universe pageant after all. Jenna Talackova, initially named a finalist, was booted from the contest because the rules of Donald Trump's NYC-based organization say entrants must be naturally-born females. Now, organizers of the competition have said that Talackova can compete as long as she meets all Canadian legal gender recognition requirements, as well as standards of other international competitions.

Five same-sex, bi-national couples who are legally married and unable to obtain a green card for a foreign-born partner have filed a lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. The group maintains that DOMA, which bars immigration sponsorship privileges to same-sex couples, is unconstitutional.

There are already a handful of challenges to DOMA making their way through the federal court system. Tomorrow, an appeals court panel in Boston will hear arguments regarding a two-year-old case where a judge ruled DOMA unconstitutional. And just this past February, a California judge also declared DOMA unconstitutional when he sided with a lesbian couple denied spousal health benefits by a federal employer.

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