Feature

Gay marriage: Punishing Miss California

With her honest answer to competition judge and gossip blogger Perez Hilton's question on gay marriage, Miss California lost her chances of becoming Miss USA.

Rarely do we get to see the machinations of the liberal thought police in such bold relief, said Andrew Breitbart in The Washington Times. Carrie Prejean, aka Miss California, by all rights should now be serving as Miss USA. But Prejean gave an honest answer last week when she was asked by competition judge and gossip blogger Perez Hilton her view of gay marriage. “I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman,” replied the 21-year-old student at San Diego Christian College. “No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.” This perfectly reasonable answer spurred Hilton, who is openly gay, to vote against Prejean in an all-out hissy fit. If Prejean had won, Hilton later said, he would have “snatched that tiara off her head.” He even called her “a dumb b----.” So there you have it: We live in a country in which standing up for traditional marriage kills a young woman’s dream to become Miss USA.

If Hilton thinks he’s helping the cause of gay marriage, said James Rainey in the Los Angeles Times, he’s badly deluded. Let’s concede that Hilton, a notorious self-promoter, was sincerely offended by Prejean’s comment. But by resorting to name-calling, Hilton only fueled the “drearily predictable” outrage on the Right and helped turn Prejean into a hero among Christian conservatives. For her part, Prejean has shrewdly seized the moment, telling interviewers that she’d rather be “biblically correct” than “politically correct.” She even says she’s open to a move from modeling into politics. Sound crazy? Tell that to former beauty queen Sarah Palin.

If Prejean can parlay this sorry episode into a political career, said Joe Fitzgerald in the Boston Herald, maybe that would teach the intolerant Left an important lesson. Hilton actually asserted that “Miss USA should represent all Americans,” but because Prejean had “alienated millions of gays and lesbians,” she was unworthy of the title. Really? In fact, polls show that most Americans agree with Prejean on gay marriage—though many politicians, “fearful of incurring the wrath of a very vocal minority,” would rather “duck the issue.” As a supporter of gay marriage, said Eric Zorn in the Chicago Tribune, I have to agree with you. Prejean “gently offered a personal sentiment devoid of thunderous moral condemnation.” If pro-gay-marriage activists “want to be indignant,” I suggest they direct their indignation at President Obama and other Democratic leaders “who oppose letting gays use the M-word and who actually have the power to effect change.”

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