Carrie Prejean believes in marriage, just not THAT much

by CynthiaYockey on May 1, 2009

Carrie Prejean, Miss California, speaks against equal marriage rights for gays at the National Press Club on 4/30/2009 at a press conference for the National Organization for Marriage. Photo taken by Cynthia Yockey.

Carrie Prejean, Miss California, speaks against equal marriage rights for gays at the National Press Club on 4/30/2009 at a press conference for the National Organization for Marriage. Photo taken by Cynthia Yockey.

Update: Linked from Hot Air’s Green Room — thank you! — see below.

I took a pleasant jaunt down to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., yesterday to see Carrie Prejean headline a press conference for the new TV spot against gay marriage by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). Ms. Prejean is Miss California in the Miss USA pageant system and told pageant judge and celebrity gossip blogger, Perez Hilton, that she opposed gay marriage when he asked her opinion on the topic at the pageant on April 19.

BTW, I think Hilton’s question was entirely fair, since Prop. 8 banning gay marriage in California only months after it had been approved by a court decision earlier in 2008 meant that if Miss California became Miss USA, she was bound to be asked that question in every interview. Whatever, her answer has made her more famous than winning the pageant would have and she has been quick to make the most of her notoriety.

I arrived about five minutes before the press conference, which I expected to be thronged. Judging from the number of press kits available, so did NOM. However, there were only about a dozen reporters — a mix of small-fry like me with a few heavy-hitters like Fox News, which has video; Inside Edition; ABC News and the Washington Times. One guy behind me was from a Latter-Day Saints group; he sat next to a guy from a Catholic group.

Prejean gave prepared remarks, first claiming she was there as a private citizen, but then contradicted herself by asserting that she represented the state of California and the majority opinion in the United States:

I believe very strongly that a marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a union between a husband and a wife. What’s more that I believe millions of Americans also believe the same thing. I’m representing the state of California as you all know. There was over seven million voters, California voters that have voted on this. So not only was I representing my state but the majority of people in my nation. This vision of marriage is not hateful. It’s not discriminatory. It’s good. Marriage is good. There is something special about unions of husband and wives. Unless we bring men and women together children will not have mothers and fathers. I do not want to raise my own children in a world where this tradition [sic] view of marriage is considered hateful or discriminatory, especially not by my own government.

Prejean also said that NOM wasn’t paying her for her appearance. Except, you know, for all the publicity, which I expect Prejean will do her utmost to turn into cash.

Prejean’s NOM handlers let her answer a few questions. The Inside Edition reporter asked her to comment on the Miss California pageant organization paying for her boob job. She refused and called the question “inappropriate.” (They’re late — Stacy McCain has been on this story for days and has the scoop.)

Because the room was so empty, I had secured the chair directly in front of the podium where Prejean spoke. I did not think Ms. Prejean was going to call on me, so I just spoke up and asked her, “Will you show your support for marriage by dating only ex-gay men?”

She glared and called my question inappropriate, too, although I think it is entirely fair. In fact, I think it would be the basis for a hit reality show. Assuming Ms. Prejean is ever willing to put her moneymaker where her mouth is, supporting marriage-wise.

P.S.

My two favorite beauty pageant movies are Miss Congeniality and Little Miss Sunshine. If you haven’t seen the latter, seriously, watch it for its peerless social commentary on the talent portion of any pageant.

P.P.S.

Also at the press conference, NOM president Maggie Gallagher denounced supporters of gay marriage for calling opponents of gay marriage bigots and liars. It would have helped her cause a little more if she had not then repeated the core messages of NOM’s first spot, “A Gathering Storm,” which can quite fairly and properly be called lies and distortions, as the following video explains:

P.P.P.S.

One of Ms. Gallagher’s claims was that allowing gay marriage would be disruptive to individuals, small businesses and religious groups. I’ll answer that in more detail in the future, but right now I think I can sum up my reply as being, “Maybe — but so what? That’s what CHANGE does — it CHANGES the way we do things. When I was Ms. Prejean’s age (21) in 1974, women were fighting for equal rights in every aspect of life — there were plenty of people lined up against that change, too, with almost exactly the same rationalizations. Well, it turns out most of that change was for the better and 2008 proved it when the candidates in the race for president who were the most qualified both by resume and character were Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.

Update, May 1, 2009: Perez Hilton has gotten the NOM TV ad “No Offense” pulled because it uses a short clip from one of his Web videos. Gay blog Good As You is livid — with Perez Hilton.

Update, May 1, 2009: At Hot Air’s Green Room, my dear friend Stacy McCain, who is an indefatigible yenta, poses a question that I WISH I’d thought of.

Update, May 1, 2009: Allahpundit also is in the Green Room trying to terrify people who are on the fence over marriage equality for lesbians and gays that our achieving equality will lead to prosecution for “thought crimes.” First of all — nonsense! Second, I can do him one better. Lesbians and gays are punished and murdered in the U.S. and around the world for a BEING crime. For example, I just saw a clip on CNN saying that you can serve in the U.S. military without being a U.S. citizen and get citizenship. But U.S. citizens like me — and one of my ancestors fought with George Washington at Valley Force — are NOT full citizens because we are barred from serving openly in the military for a BEING crime.

Update, May 1, 2009: GayPatriot has some words of wisdom about Ms. Prejean.

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  • Cynthia This is a great post….Outstanding.

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  • As for the statement:

    Prejean also said that NOM wasn’t paying her for her appearance. Except, you know, for all the publicity, which I expect Prejean will do her utmost to turn into cash.

    Why do you have ad space on your blog?

    • Dave C,

      Ooh! I gather you think you have exposed hypocrisy! That’s not true because I am straightforwardly trying to make money from my writing and to increase my fame in order to make money. I am a professional writer. I write for money.

      In contrast, Prejean is trying to make herself out as heroic and selfless for not accepting money from NOM or being an official NOM spokesperson when they were giving her something of enormous cash value: publicity. At the press conference Prejean also said, practically in the same breath, that she was there NOT as Miss California but that she represented California. Which was it? Because if she were not Miss California, no one would care at all about any of her deeply, passionately held personal beliefs. Also, I suspect that her contract with the Miss California pageant forbids her from accepting money to be any other organization’s spokesperson during her tenure. There’s no honor in refusing money you can’t legally earn.

      Prejean also got the Miss California title by promising to make the Special Olympics her cause during her tenure. The pageant officials have publicly requested she comply with the terms of her position with the pageant and return to the cause she is pledged to support. So when you contrast the two of us, I am trying to make an honest living with my writing — donate please because so far, I haven’t made a penny — while Prejean has played bait-and-switch. She is violating the spirit of her pageant, stealing the platform they gave for to advocate a position they abhor and she is almost certainly in violation of the terms of her contract in so many ways that she ought to resign immediately or be fired. Prejean’s behavior is self-serving and dishonorable. In a comment about her at GayPatriot I noted that my impression of her intellect and integrity is that the more people get to know her, the harder it is going to be for her to get a date or find employment. NOM is using her as flame-bait, pure and simple, because they have lost the marriage equality argument on the grounds of fairness, so they are trying to hurt and anger gays and lesbians as much as possible so they can use the reactions to their cruelties and injustices to demonize us. Our salvation will be to name these tactics for what they are while continually showing people that we are working for equality because it provides us with the tools we need to build better lives together, to be better people and to make our families, our communities and our nation better and stronger.

      Cynthia

  • As I tried to point out at the Green Room, I realize that my question was a sort of “chicken hawk” attack: If you don’t do X, how can you be in favor of X.

    But that argument cuts both ways, you see. How can heterosexuals consider themselves “pro-gay,” since their personal lives are so obviously anti-gay? In other words, if homsexuality is an equally valid choice, why do you — Mr. or Mrs. Pro-Gay Hetero — refuse to engage in gay sex and adamantly insist that you have never engaged in gay sex?

    Some people talk about “thinking outside the box.” Heh. I’m not sure I ever had a box. But if I did, I probably burnt my box while trying to re-light my bong ab0ut 1978.

    • My dear, beloved Stacy,

      Homosexuality is not a choice. Over the years, it’s been my observation that the more heterosexual someone is, the more they are likely to be supportive of lesbians and gays because they say, “I know I couldn’t change MY sexual orientation, so if homosexuals say THEY can’t change, it must be so and it is crazy to force them to try to be straight.” Being pro-gay is a matter of acceptance.

      Or, to put it another way, you are EXTREMELY pro-woman, and yet you yourself are not willing to become one. 😉 What’s up with THAT?

      XOXOXO,

      Cynthia

  • Dan

    Are there absolute norms, things right or wrong, semper et pro semper?

    How can we discern what is right from wrong? Do we do so by feelings, or do we do by intellect?

    Once we concede that there are things that are wrong, always wrong, and never right, then we’re left with the task of determing what things are wrong, and what things are right.

    Which leads us to this issue du jour, an issue that previous generations weren’t confused by.

    Outside of an argument which isn’t an argument, one of feelings, what exactly is there advanced that suggests that the activity in question is a right, or at least morally neutral.

    Notice too I’m not confining the issue to one of legality. The law will follow culture, and there’s not a prayer for maintaining a line against marriage without first maintaining clairity on whether or not the behavior at bar is right or wrong.

    I for my part haven’t heard of any argument, any presentation, that successfully labeled this behavior as something not wrong, but right, or at least morally neutral.

    WHAT I have heard is people trying to dodge the intellectual aspects of the discussion by introducing “feelings,” usually via claims of “hurt feelings.”

    But that’s not intellectual engagment, that’s a tactic. It may be successful, but it’s not intellectually honest.

    • Dan,

      I have to go make my father’s dinner now so I’m going to make my reply short and indicate themes I will develop over time.

      First, there are psychological issues to discuss regarding the need for absolute certainty at all times. There are reasons some people are internally governed and are good and honorable, while others cannot do this and rely on extremely structured systems of rules in order to function well.

      The Serenity Prayer directly addresses the dilemma of trying to sort out what we can be certain about and what will be a matter of faith, intuition or just plain best guess: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” There is always going to be a gap between what we can and can’t change, but that is where the wisdom grows.

      Two quick things about homosexuality as at least morally neutral:

      (1) My observation is that the religious and civil prohibitions on homosexuality originated with a desire by a charismatic leader to have as much money and power as possible. This requires having as many followers and/or citizens as possible as taxpayers, tithe payers, soldiers, and so on. The easiest way to get converts is to have them born into your religion. That is why both ancient and brand new start-up religions are so attracted to polygamy, in my opinion. However, these motives had to be dressed up nicely so people would not see their base and selfish origin, so they were cloaked as religion, or duty to the state, or both. So religious and civil bans on homosexuality are founded on greed and lust for power.

      (2) Your sexual orientation is part of your dharma. The worst possible evils are to fall from dharma by refusing to live your own life, or to destroy someone else’s connection with their dharma — in the case of bans on homosexuality, this evil is done by forcing them to be someone they are not or forbidding them to be who they are. This is because dharma is the evolutionary force that provides the soul with its foundation, path and momentum for enlightenment. There are so many concepts that need explanation in those three sentences that you can see I will have to explain those ideas in a series.

      I see I also will have to address feelings vs. intellect.

      I have pressing chores and have to figure out how to get people to pay me for my writing — feel free to look for the PayPal “Donate” button and give generously — so I will have to fit these essays in when I can. I do appreciate the issues you’ve raised and that you are courteous about raising them. You are helping me grasp what people need to know and understand about homosexuality. So — thank you.

      Cynthia

  • I have supported Miss California’s right to her opinion and I have been very critical of Perez Hilton who is a hideous representative of the gay community. But I do have some criticisms for miss California now because she had contradicted herself. I watched her last night on Greta Van Sustren’s show and Greta asked her opinion on civil unions. Several times Ms. Prejean answered that she was not a politician and needed to study the issue more. What? Greta asked her opinion – what does being a politician have to do with it. And this is the contradiction: Why did she not say the same thing at the pageant? And surely she has an opinion on civil unions – they are not new. My guess is that this new group she has latched her popularity onto and is now making commercials for would find it unacceptable for her to be in favor of civil unions. She did say that this was America and people could do what they wanted at the pageant.

    And it is interesting that Miss California representatives are upset with her making straight marriage her new cause. She is suppose to be supporting Special Olympics. I guess the disabled kids take a back seat to her fame. I am quite disappointed.

  • Thank you for clarify..

    Just that soooo many people are ganging up on my furture ex wife..

    (just kidding.. my actual wife is looking over my shoulder right now 🙂

  • Cynthia, if you and other gays/lesbians are going to allow the likes of Perez Hilton and Michael Musto to be the public face of your cause, then you’re not going to get too far.

    Prejean was asked her opinion on a topic and she gave it freely and honestly. For Hilton and Musto to attack her in such a vulgar and immature fashion is ridiculous. If you don’t want to hear someone’s opinion, then DON’T ASK FOR IT.

    • Jungle Jim,

      Opponents of gay marriage equality are using Carrie Prejean as flame bait in obedience to the Saul Alinsky rule that you must give your opposition a face and focus on that as your target. They also are using deceit because the full quote of her pageant answer shows she believes that lesbians and gays do have the right to marry. We DO NOT. In California, we had it and people whose rights WE have fought for yanked this right of marriage equality away from us. I cannot describe to you the amount of pain this caused — and hurt people do get angry.

      Denying equal marriage rights damages the lives of lesbians and gays — literally. There are so many ways that being married and having the rights that go with that allow your life to thrive. Have you spent any time at all imagining what it would be like not to have marriage as a possibility for you, then the miracle that it IS possible, then a few months later what it would feel like to have that yanked away? The damage is real and the pain is beyond description.

      Perez Hilton has dialed back his criticism of Prejean enormously. He should be quoted for that, now. As for Musto — this may surprise you, but the lesbian and gay community has no means of controlling what individuals say anywhere at any time. Are you SURE you want to set the standard that angry individuals are to be singled out to invalidate the just cause of an entire group? Because if you want to play under those rules, there are plenty of reprehensible conservatives to use. My current nominee is Alan Keyes, who evicted his lesbian daughter and cut her off financially for speaking at a Maryland rally about a gay friend of hers whose parents had thrown him out of their house when he was 16. He died of starvation three years later. In the lesbian and gay community, we have literally millions of stories of being tossed out like trash.

      Regarding attacking Prejean over her breast implants, conservative blogger and vehement opponent of gay marriage, Robert Stacy McCain, of The Other McCain, was the first, or among the first, to spot the implants and denounce Prejean for the surgery. Why isn’t he being denounced, too?

      Cynthia

  • Another thing, Cynthia. Why are you and other gay/lesbian activists taking on a 21 year-old beauty pageant contestant over this issue? That woman was just a child not long ago.

    Barack 0bama, George Bush, John Kerry, and Bill Clinton all feel the same way she does over the issue. Why not debate someone who is more powerful and influential on the matter?

    What next, will you and Perez debate a toddler on the issue of abortion?

    • Jungle Jim,

      You are illustrating the success of NOM’s cynical strategy of using Prejean as flame bait. They know perfectly well she’s not ready for prime-time. In their unbounded callousness, they WANT her to be a target so they can cry victim. They have lost the moral ground because the rationale against gay marriage is unfair, forces a minority into second-class citizenship and requires that everyone to agree the government should enforce the religion of some people on everyone. Prejean is their misdirect.

      However, Prejean gleefully has leapt into the fray. Publicity is gold. So she is going after all the publicity she can get. I don’t know how the contracts for pageant winners are written, but I doubt that she is allowed unlimited freedom to capitalize on her title during her reign. She also pledged that her cause would be the Special Olympics. I expect she is screwing over the California Miss USA pageant in a big way as she pursues fame and fortune while overlooking the fact that it is not possible for her to speak as a private citizen while she is Miss California because no one would be interested in her opinion if she were not.

      Since you are making Perez Hilton the face of all gays, I gather you’re fine with Jimmy Swaggart being the personification of all social conservatives, yes?

      Cynthia

  • Cynthia:

    The problem with Hilton and Musto is that there has been no public criticism of their absurd denunciations of Prejean. No gay activists have come out and said how rude and ridiculous they have been behaving.

    Go ahead and criticize Keyes. He’s a grown man and he can handle it. I am amazed at the complete lack of any rationality or civility on the part of gay activists.

    This reminds me of when gays took on the boy scouts a few years ago. It was ridiculous because boys that age should not be having sex with anyone. During the 2000 Democrat National convention, a group of boy scouts were asked to lead the pledge of allegiance, and they got booed by the delegates.

    In spite of little or no reporting by the biased media, the news of the booing got out and it didn’t help your cause one bit.

    • Jungle Jim,

      I’ve ONLY heard criticism of Hilton, Musto, et al.

      Gay Patriot and HillBuzz defended Prejean.

      Prejean’s full statement at the pageant shows she incorrectly believed lesbians and gays have the right to marry. We do not.

      No social conservatives condemned Alan Keyes for the way he treated his daughter. That’s just wrong.

      You are really reaching pretty far down in the bag with the Boy Scout story. As I recall, the controversy was about allowing an openly-gay boy to be a Boy Scout. He was not looking for sex partners in the Boy Scouts, so having sex has no place in the discussion. Also, you’re making ALL gays FOREVER responsible for some booing that I don’t know really happened? OK, then — poof! All social conservatives are Jimmy Swaggart! Or Ted Haggard — how about Ted Haggard? Larry Craig? How about Pat Robertson — who prayed for the death of Supreme Court justices and the assassination of heads of state?

      I am shocked at how little it takes for the vengefulness of social conservatives to be aroused and that the actions of one or a few persons entitles them for all eternity to exact revenge and deliver retribution on an innocent minority. Although, I notice, they feel this is an outrageous injustice when the shoe is on the other foot.

      Cynthia

  • Cynthia:

    I am not a social conservative.

    The issue with the boy scouts concerned a gay adult man who wanted to be a scout leader. Upon learning that he was gay, the leadership of the boy scouts tossed him out and he sued. The case went to the US supreme court who ruled in favor of the boy scouts.

    You should read Instapunk’s thoughts on the Prejean/Hilton issue. He can explain it much better than I can.

    I am not someone who is antagonistic towards gays. I am on your side for the most part. But you guys and gals are shooting yourselves in the foot on this matter. Big time.

    • Jungle Jim,

      I read Instapunk’s sexist rant and note that he concludes that “lesbians can do what they want. No one is interested in what they have to say.” And you thought I would find that persuasive?

      Carrie Prejean said she thought lesbians and gays have the choice to marry. She is wrong. We do not. THAT is why lesbians and gays are angry about what she said. This is legitimate and appropriate anger, especially when weighed against the enormity of the destruction to our lives caused by the hundreds of rights we do NOT have because we are second-class citizens.

      After saying that gays and lesbians could marry, THEN Prejean said she had a different preference. That is what is being quoted in order to manipulate public opinion against gays. Also, NOW she is almost certainly in violation of multiple terms of her contract as Miss California, so her integrity is very questionable. She definitely has gone back on her commitment to make the Special Olympics her cause. You really do not have sufficient evidence to extol her honor.

      Prejean is flame-bait, pure and simple.

      Cynthia

  • Bryan

    “Will you show your support for marriage by dating only ex-gay men?”

    That doesn’t really seem like a great question…….I think the answer is obviously, “um….no, and what’s the point?”

    • Bryan,

      The point of asking Prejean to show her support for marriage by dating only ex-gay men is that one of the false premises of the churches and others fighting equality for lesbians and gays is that we choose to be gay and can choose to be straight. I was an ex-lesbian for about eight years. Now I’m an ex-ex-lesbian because the entire time I was really a lesbian. You can’t choose to be straight. You are or you aren’t.

      However, if NOM and other organizations are going to sell that lie, then they should have their representatives, like Prejean, date ex-gay men. The fact that Prejean won’t commit to doing this exposes the likelihood that she really knows there’s no such thing as an ex-gay man and she doesn’t want to get entangled with someone living that lie — which is very wise.

      Cynthia

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