When celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton—an intolerant Miss USA pageant judge with an ax to grind—asked Miss California about her views on same-sex marriage, Carrie Prejean didn’t back down or compromise her beliefs. Even though she knew her response might just cost her the crown, she did the right thing. Her answer came from a place of deep conviction . . . and just happens to represent the prevailing viewpoint of the Californians she represents.
Perez asked the politically-charged question, “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”
Carrie said, “In my family 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.” The studio audience erupted in applause. I’m not surprised. Her position is shared by the overwhelming majority of Americans.
I wish more public figures had the courage to speak freely about their beliefs without suffering the sort of ridicule and verbal abuse hurled by Mr. Hilton in the wake of her response. His hostility toward Carrie’s beliefs are the subject of a commentary penned by Gary Schneeberger, vice president of Focus on the Family. His insights were recently published on the New York Times blog:
Those who lean to the left ideologically like to paint those of us on the other side as the “intolerant” ones. But some of them are going to have a hard time whitewashing the intolerance they’ve shown to Carrie Prejean since she said during the weekend pageant that she believes marriage should be defined as solely the union of one man and one woman.
The celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton — the pageant judge who asked her what she thought about gay marriage — called her names unprintable here and said he would have “snatched the tiara” off her head had she been crowned Miss USA on Sunday. He blasted her for bringing her “political and religious views” onto the stage — an odd complaint considering he’s the one who posed a political question.
If Carrie Prejean were in favor of gay marriage, she’d actually be in the minority of Americans.
He also said Miss USA ought to be someone who represents all the people and views of America — and that personally opposing gay marriage disqualifies her on that measure. What Mr. Hilton doesn’t seem to grasp is that if she were in favor of gay marriage, her views still wouldn’t “represent all Americans.”
In fact, were Miss Prejean a gay-marriage supporter, she’d actually be in the minority of citizens in our nation, if you believe scores of polls and the voters in 30 states (including more than 7 million in her home state of California) who have passed laws or constitutional amendments to protect the natural definition of marriage.
The reality is, what Mr. Hilton is asking is not realistic. We don’t expect our president to “represent all Americans.” More than 58 million people did not vote for Barack Obama: does that make Hilton want to go snatch the presidential seal off his podium? Of course not. What Mr. Hilton and many other of Miss Prejean’s attackers really mean is that they’d prefer people not bring their political and ideological convictions into the public square unless they align with the political and ideological convictions of Mr. Hilton et al.
Does that sound even remotely like American ideals?
What has happened to Miss Prejean over the past few days is nothing short of religious persecution. No, it is not violent persecution — but that does not minimize its existence or its danger. She is being pilloried in the public square for deigning to answer a question guided, as she told the “Today” show, not by “political correctness but by biblical correctness.”
Doing so, most agree, cost her her dream of being Miss USA. If the U.S.A. embraces Mr. Hilton’s actions and logic as acceptable, it will cost our nation much more.
Ironically, Carrie’s answer is almost the same exact response offered last fall by candidate Barack Obama when Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, asked how Mr. Obama would define marriage. Barack Obama said, “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.” Should that answer have cost him the election?
Why, then, did Carrie’s answer cost her the crown?
Frankly, I’m proud Carrie didn’t buckle.