Miss California Fiasco Misses the Mark

I assume you’ve all heard the controversy surrounding the recent Miss America pageant. If not, check out this video of Miss California answering her question about whether she thinks gay marriage should be allowed.

OK, a few things here…

I do not agree with Miss California’s point of view. I am a firm proponent of gay marriage and I’m proud to live in a state where our legislators refused to relinquish civil and equal rights under intense pressure from the conservative right. I think gay marriage should absolutely be legal in all 50 states, because everyone is entitled to happiness and equal standing.

That having been said, I think all the outrage over her remarks is misguided.

Look, the judges asked her a question and she gave her honest opinion. And that’s fine, we all have different opinions and, if anything, it made a boring beauty pageant interesting for a few minutes. I’d rather all the contestants be honest instead of giving stock answers and constantly wishing for world peace.

However, on the flip side, I don’t think Miss California should be bitching about losing the contest because of her answer. She had to have known that she was going to alienate judges and a huge population of people with that answer. That’s just the reality of it. Besides, it’s a beauty pageant. They teach you to give answers in a vague, non-committal way that’s supposed to endear you to the judges. So if she really wanted to win, she would’ve couched her answer differently. Apparently she felt that being honest was more important than winning, and I respect that. But you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If she wants to be open and honest that’s fine, but she shouldn’t feign shock over losing because of it.

I think it’s absolutely hilarious that she tried to temper her remark with a “no offense to anybody” disclaimer thrown in at the end. It’s like saying “Well I personally believe that marriage should only be for a certain group of people and I don’t feel the rest of you homosexuals are deserving of the same rights as myself…but no offense!” It’s a cop out and it’s a silly opinion.

Gay marriage has been legal in Massachusetts for five years next month. I’ve been in a gay wedding because I have gay relatives. And I can say with certainty that gay marriage has not eroded straight marriage at all. The world hasn’t ended and the sanctity of straight peoples’ marriages is completely unaffected by gay people choosing to wed. There is no reason gay marriage shouldn’t be legal. None.

But it’s a free country and we can all weigh in on the issues. But if you’re a contestant in a beauty pageant whose success depends on impressing judges (many of whom are gay), then don’t complain about losing when you insult and alienate them on national TV.

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15 thoughts on “Miss California Fiasco Misses the Mark

  1. To each his own, I guess.

    They’re battling over same-sex marriage in the capital today here in Maine. It’s been all over the news the past couple of days.

  2. I’m with you. Maine is working on legislature to allow gay marriage right now. I’m hoping that it passes.

  3. It’s tough for the pageant crowd, though…most of the states where pageants are really big still believe that it should be legal for cousins to marry but not gay folks, but I think the main other demographic watching pageants is gay men (with a componant of straight men tuning in just for swimsuits). But who let Perez Hilton be a judge anyways?

  4. If you watched the pageant (I admit I watched some of it) you would notice that they did not ask Miss California for her opnion on gay marrige itself but of the laws changing…if she has answered the actual question she would have been better off.

    Melissa–Did you know that it is legal to marry your cosuin in New York and it happens more than you might think?

  5. she insulted the gay people and alienated them on national tv? what part of her answer insults them? Because she said no offense? or just because she doesn’t believe that there should be same sex marriages? she wasn’t derogatory, she didn’t say it in a demeaning way. she simply stated that she doesn’t believe in it and in essense doesn’t believe it shoudl be legal.

  6. Aaron I agree with you 100%. Marriage is about love between two people and that is that. Who cares if they are the same sex. She is an idiot for saying that and does not deserve to win anything…….

  7. She insulted them by stating she doesn’t believe they have the right to marry the person they love. Does she not believe in mixed race marriages? How can you not be insulted when someone says you do not have the right to marry the person you want? And let’s leave incest out of this, for obvious reasons.

    If the question had been do you support laws allowing mixed race marriages and she said no, she does not believe in mixed race marriage, but then said “no offense” – do you think there might have been some taken?

    She was hot though! :)

  8. crystal,

    Imagine someone going on national TV and telling you that they didn’t think you had the right to marry the man you loved. Would you find that insulting? I think you would.

    So how is it any different for a straight person to go on TV and tell gay people they shouldn’t have the right to get married? Telling people they are not equal to others is, in and of itself, derogatory.

  9. Imagine the audacity of people being offended by ignorance!! The nerve. This is 2009!! How dare any one demand equal rights and protections under the law!

  10. Would I be insulted if someone went on national tv and said they didn’t think I should have the right to marry someone. Actually NO I wouldn’t be offended. I would see that as their right to an opinion and just their belief. This is AMERICA. That place where we are all entitled to our own opinions and the ability to voice them. She just happened to get the chance to say hers on TV. Did everyone have to agree with her? Absolutely not. The difference though I think is how it’s done. Was she disrespectful? In my opinion she wasn’t. She said nothing derogatory. Yes she used that phrase “No offense” even I have used it. Not intending to offend anyone but honestly this nation is so nuts about being politically correct that it’s almost natural to include it when ever your stating your own opinion. It’s like we’re forced to give a disclamer if we don’t follow along with the crowd.

  11. Sorry crystal, I don’t buy that argument at all.

    I hate political correctness as much as the next person. But this isn’t a case of being politically correct. When you believe that a certain segment of the population should not be afforded the same basic rights as another segment simply because of their sexual orientation, that is discrimination. Plain and simple. It’s no different than discriminating based on skin color or religious beliefs.

    And while she (or anybody) absolutely has the right to their opinion and to voice it wherever they’d like, it can still be derogatory. Hell, neo-nazi protesters have the right to their hate speech but that doesn’t make it OK.

    So was what she said disrespectful? That all depends on who was listening. You didn’t find it derogatory or disrespectful. But I’m guessing my gay friends watching at home might’ve found it just a teensy bit offensive that a Miss America contestant — someone who is supposed to represent her country to other nations — doesn’t believe in equal rights.

    But to each his/her own.

  12. I love free speech. Helps weed out the assholes. People are just as entitles to their opinions as they are the labels they garner from their opinions. I. personally, never said she wasn’t allowed her opinion. Just that it makes her an asshole. Fairly cut and dry.

    (my captcha is quagmire, lmao!! giggity giggity…olay)

  13. I think the whole debate is kind of silly. I mean, some of these gals are not all that intelligent to begin with. Need we bring up the ignorant answers from the past, like the one about most United States Americans not having maps?

    She has her right to believe what she believes, but she has no right to complain about her beliefs costing her the ever-important crown. She was stupid not to phrase her answer in a more pageant-winning way, end of story. The sad truth is that the dumbass got all the media coverage. Not one of us can remember who actually won. Was she pretty?

    I love the fact that I live in this state where my gay friends and relatives can get married if they so choose, but I wouldn’t waste my breath trying to convince people who believe that straight marriage is the only real marriage to see it my way. It would be like talking to George Bush ;)

  14. The only thing that bothers me about this story is how she’s been whining that she lost the crown because of this answer. She’s repping a state known for it’s large gay community and is in a pageant pretty much run by fabulous gay men. Yes, she’s entitled to her opinion but Perez Hilton is entitled to give her a low score because of it.

    Marriage for all!

  15. If I remember correctly, the girl who won had higher points on swimsuit and some other area so why would she complain that this question lost her the contest? Even if she answered the way the judges would have liked her to, she still would have lost.

    Am I the only one who noticed she started to say “In my country..” My eyes widened at that one!

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