Trump Organization Says It Won’t Bar Transgender Contestant Jenna Talackova from Miss Universe Pageant

Last week we reported that Jenna Talackova, a 23-year-old Canadian finalist in the Miss Universe Canada competition, was being ejected from the pageant because she is transgender. Now comes news that the Miss Universe organization has reversed itself, ABC News reports:

Talockova“The Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions,” Michael D. Cohen, executive vice president and special counsel to Donald Trump, said in an email.

The Miss Universe Canada website states that to enter, women must be a Canadian citizen and between the ages of 18 and 27. If basic requirements are met, they are asked to fill out a longer application form. The form does not mention any rules against sexual reassignment surgery.

GLAAD says it is working with the organization to update its policies:

“The Miss Universe Organization made the right decision and has taken an important first step,” said GLAAD's Herndon Graddick. “Now, GLAAD urges the Organization to include all women and use this incident to speak out in support of the transgender community.”

“So many women today do not have equal opportunities for employment, housing and safety simply because they are transgender. The Miss Universe Organization should look to state non-discrimination laws and institutions including the Olympics, NCAA and The CW’s America’s Next Top Model, which do not discriminate against transgender women,” said Graddick.

Watch ABC News report on Talackova, AFTER THE JUMP...