Miss California Carrie Prejean, an apparent "shoo-in" for the Miss USA title, gave a controversial answer to a question regarding gay marriage. Rather than be a crowd-pleaser, she answered honestly, staying true to her personal convictions. She said,
"We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."
Now, she (along with many others, I'm sure) is wondering if this response cost her the title. Perez Hilton (the homosexual judge who read the question to Miss California) certainly thinks it did. I'm inclined to agree, and I have only one thing to say to the Miss USA program:
SHAME ON YOU!
From what I read on the Miss USA website, the interview portion of the competition is for the judges to learn about the "successes, goals, and ambitions" of each contestant. To me, this means posing questions similar to those found in job interviews, i.e. "tell me about a time where you worked in a group to achieve a goal" or the like. You know, questions that give some insight to someone's character. Asking politically and morally charged questions does not give any insight into the "successes, goals, and ambitions" of a person. The only information it gives about a person is their personal opinion on a controversial subject. If our character is defined by our political opinions, we're all in a lot of trouble. Additionally, I think Miss California is an excellent example of strong character. She was obviously aware that her response would be unpopular, yet she didn't change her convictions to fit what the judges and the crowd wanted to hear. That's the kind of conviction that a person in the public eye needs to have.
Second, does anyone else find it suspicious that a homosexual judge "randomly" selected the question about gay marriage? Sure, maybe it WAS total coincidence. Maybe the moon is made of cheese. Incidentally, I found this comment on this story from a gentleman who is a self-described "non-religious conservative who has no problem with gay marriage":
PS…why exactly is a gay man judging a female beauty contest???? Isn’t that like having a vegan judge a BBQ cookoff?
I'm sure the producers of the pageant were looking for ways to boost viewing, but I think this went too far. The pageant is getting exposure at the cost of a young woman who is now being labeled a bigot. Do I think she could have worded her response a little better? Sure. She was on live television and was required to give an answer to a controversial question on the spot. I doubt there are many of us who could answer such a question with even a modicum of poise (Look at Miss Teen South Carolina, for example). However, she gave her answer with confidence and conviction in her position. I think she would have been a strong representative for the United States.
I'm not sure I want to live in a country where a woman is booed for expressing her personal opinion on an issue, no matter how unpopular it may be.