Miss USA Contestant Flunks Gay Marriage Question

When Carrie Prejean was asked for her views on gay marriage in the Miss USA beauty pageant, she answered that she believes marriage is “between a man and a woman”. 

Prejean is currently Miss California. She was the acknowledged  frontrunner in the USA pageant – until that question. The question was asked by pageant judge Perez Hilton, said to be a “celebrity blogger”. Read about it in the BBC post if you haven’t already.

To be honest, my first reaction was, “serves her right.”

Hilton said he had been “floored” by Ms Prejean’s answer, which, he said, “alienated millions of gay and lesbian Americans, their families and their supporters”.

He told ABC News: “She lost it because of that question. She was definitely the front-runner before that.”

Just a minute here … how is that supposed to work? Supposing her answer to the same question had been “I’m definitely for it” — and the judge had been an evangelical religious fundamentalist? Are the social and political views of a beauty content contestant even relevant? How would you react  if  the first question pitched to you in a job interview was, “who did you vote for in 2008?”

To her credit, Prejean answered honestly. The country is still divided almost 50%-50% on this issue; it’s not as if  the Holocaust denial of Iran’s Ahmadinejad was on the table.

Gays and lesbians will ultimately win on this equal rights issue. But not that way.

I don’t give a hoot for beauty contests in the first place. I tend to agree with those who say they’re demeaning because they reinforce negative sexual stereotypes.

But what do you think about dragging social and political issues into such contests?

Should Prejean’s win or loss have hung on this one question? Was Hilton fair to set her up for this question, and then nail her when he didn’t agree with her position? Should such questions be asked at all?

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