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Pageant: Miss Pennsylvania gave up crown over transgender contestants

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
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Miss Pennsylvania USA has given up her state crown because she said the Miss USA pageant was fixed, but pageant officials refuted her claim, and said she quit over her disapproval of the organization’s decision to allow transgender participants.

Sheena Monnin wrote on her Facbeook page Tuesday that she “witnessed another contestant who said she saw the list of the Top 5″ on the morning of the pageant, “before the show ever started,” reported CNN.

Sheena Monnin

“After it was indeed the Top 5 I knew the show must be rigged; I decided at that moment to distance myself from an organization who did not allow fair play and whose morals did not match my own,” she wrote on Facebook.

The Miss Universe organization confirmed Monnin’s resignation, but said that her resignation received Monday said it was the organization’s decision to allow transgender participants was the basis for her decision:

“I am officially and irrevocably resigning the title of Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012,” the e-mail released by Miss Universe said.

“I refuse to be part of a pageant system that has so far and so completely removed itself from its foundational principles as to allow and support natural born males to compete in it. This goes against ever moral fiber of my being. I believe in integrity, high moral character, and fair play, none of which are part of this system any longer.

“I hereby return the title of Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012.”

Miss Universe co-owner Donald Trump retaliated Wednesday by saying Monnin can expect a lawsuit.

“What we’ve authorized today is we’re going to bring a lawsuit,” Trump told Ann Curry on NBC’s “Today” show.

“She said some really strong things. When she’s using the word ‘fraud,’ that’s pretty strong, so we’re going to be suing her on that basis. I did see her for about a second. I never felt that she had a chance, and all this is is buyer’s remorse,” Trump said.

An investigation has been conducted, said Trump, and no evidence was found of a list that details the five finalists in advance.

“The person that supposedly showed the list (to Monnin) totally denies that that ever took place,” Trump added.

In April, The Miss Universe Organization, which operates the Miss USA pageant, announced that it is changing its rules and will allow transgender women to take part in all of its competitions starting in 2013.

The announcement came just weeks after contestant Jenna Talackova, a transgender woman, was disqualified from competing for the title of Miss Universe Canada because she was not a “naturally born female.”

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