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April 26, 2009

Taking a stance for Miss California Carrie Prejean for her same-sex marriage comments

Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, is in a flap about Miss California Carrie Prejean’s comments about same-sex marriage this week at the Miss USA pageant.  Most of you are probably already familiar with what went down at the pageant (especially if you are avid readers, like myself!) but just incase, a quick recap: during the “personality” (?) portion of the competition, Miss California reached her hand into the bowl to select a question, which turned out to be a question written by pageant judge Perez Hilton. The question: “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalise same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”

Miss California took a breath (assumingly to collect her thoughts) and gave this reply: “Well, I think it’s great Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage … And you know what, in my country, in my family, I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offence to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be – between a man and a woman. Thank you very much.” Later on, she defended her response, calling it “Biblically correct.” *sigh*

Of course, it wasn’t long before the internet-hate began, with Perez insisting that Miss California is a “dumb b*tch…with half a brain,” and so forth and so on. In our current political climate, speaking out against same-sex marriage usually leads to being called homophobic, right-wing or worse – a Republican. Did Miss California make a bold move in making her response? You bet she did! Was it a stupid answer – you bet it was, but not for the reason you think.

Let me state, for the record out there, that YES I am a Christian, and YES I am 100% in favour of same-sex marriage being recognized EVERYWHERE. In fact, I look forward to the day that we as a society look back on this current time and find it strange that same-sex marriage was every anything but legal – just like we do now, when we look back in history and find not terribly long ago, interracial couples couldn’t be married either.  Alright, now that I’ve clarified that, let’s get back to the issue at hand – Miss California.

Why was her response less than intelligent? Because it really had nothing to do with the question. The question did NOT ask Miss California if she, herself, think about gay marriage; the question was about the politics of a democratic nation, not the personal opinion about gay marriage of one single person. Miss USA (the title for which she was competing) is supposed to represent all people, and guess what? Not everyone in American is the conservative Christian type; hence the “separation of Church and State” part of the national politics. By giving the answer that she did, she shut herself off from a very large population of the country, and also showed herself unable to tell the difference between politics and religion.

The United States is NOT a theocracy, but a democracy; the laws are to be in place for all people, and the Church (whichever your church/faith/etc may be) has no place in law-making. Yes, I know, many of the modern-day laws have their roots in Judeo-Christianity; that doesn’t mean a country shouldn’t move with the times, and have ways of making laws that reflect the people who follow them. If she is using the Christian Bible as her argument that same-sex marriage should not be legalised, how does that work for gays and lesbians in the USA who aren’t Christian?

Bottom line:  I believe that a person’s faith is a deeply important, but deeply personal thing. If you sit 100 pastors down and give them one passage of the Bible, you will get 100 interpretations – this is why religious doctrine should not have a place in deciding laws in a democratic nation. Laws in a democratic nation are to reflect the needs of everyone in society, and ensure their civil rights are protected, regardless of the religious perspective. Some people believe that the definition of “marriage” should be just a man and a woman – I believe consenting adults should have the right to choose to marry someone they LOVE, regardless of who has what naughty bits. Miss California has the right to believe whatever she wants, and I applaud her for speaking her mind – but she overlooked the point of the question, and also the point of the Miss USA title – she is not a representative of ALL people in America, and for such narrow-mindedness, she did not deserve to win.

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