Miss Pennsylvania USA Sheena Monnin resigns over transgender policy
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While Monnin contends on her Facebook that she quit because it was rigged and another contestant saw a list of the Top 5 before the show aired on Sunday, June 3, the Miss Universe Organization tells E! News that she really quit because she disagreed with their policy regarding transgender contestants.
"The Miss Universe Organization can confirm the resignation of the Pennsylvania title holder after she did not place in the Top 16 at the Miss USA pageant. In an email to state pageant organizers, she cited the Miss Universe Organization's policy regarding transgendered contestants, implemented two months ago, as the reason for her resignation," the MUO says in a statement.
"Today she has changed her story by publicly making false accusations claiming that the pageant was fixed, however the contestant she privately sourced as her reference has vehemently refuted her most recent claim. We are disappointed that she would attempt to steal the spotlight from Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island on her well-deserved Miss USA win."
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Monnin allegedly said in her resignation email that she refused 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."
The new policy was implemented after transgender Miss Universe Canada contestant Jenna Talackova was briefly disqualified (to public outcry) before the MUO changed its rules and allowed her to compete. She eventually placed in the Top 12.
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Miss USA winner Culpo's final question in the competition had to do with whether or not it would be fair to allow a transgender woman to win the title, and she gave a great answer about acceptance and living a happier life.