Miss California Defends Her Views Against Same-Sex Marriage

By Nicholas Ballasy | May 4, 2009 | 1:26 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) – Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was harshly criticized by Miss USA pageant judge Perez Hilton, an openly homosexual male celebrity in Hollywood, because of her belief, stated at the pageant, that marriage should be between one man and one woman. 
Prejean recently defended her views about traditional marriage at the National Press Club, calling on people on both sides of the issue to treat each other with “respect” and decorum.
“I’m grateful for the outpouring of support from the great majority of Americans who know in our hearts that Americans should treat others with respect, even when we disagree, especially when we disagree about important moral issues like marriage,” Prejean told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 30.
“You probably know by now that I believe very strongly that a marriage is between a man and women. It is a union between a husband and a wife,” she said.

When asked at the April 19 pageant by Hilton whether other states, following Vermont’s example, should legalize same-sex marriage, Prejean said, in part, “[I]n my country and my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anyone out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be – between a man and a woman.”
At the National Press Club, Prejean said her views on homosexual marriage are shared by millions of Americans.
“I’m representing the state of California, as you all know, and there were over 7 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,” said Prejean.
She was speaking in reference to Proposition 8, which passed in November and amended the California constitution to legally define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Prejean agreed to participate in the National Organization for Marriage’s new ad campaign, which debuted at the National Press Club. The 60-second commercial shows part of Prejean’s answer to Hilton’s question about same-sex marriage during the Miss USA competition.  
Hilton, who rose to fame for his Hollywood celebrity gossip blog, perezhilton.com, called Prejean a “dumb b****” with “half a brain” in a video he posted online after the pageant because of Prejean’s answer to his question. (Warning: Some language in the Perez Hilton video is offensive.)
Maggie Gallager, president of the National Organization for Marriage, told CNSNews.com that if the winner of Miss USA was decided by the people as happens on “American Idol,” Prejean would have won.
“I don’t have an opinion about how beauty pageants are run, but if they let the American people vote, Carrie is Miss USA – no question at all,” said Gallagher.
“She is Miss USA in the hearts of the American people right now,” said Gallagher. “It doesn’t matter what those pageant officials do or don’t do.”
According to its Web site, the Miss USA pageant began in 1952, and tens of thousands of women from the 50 states and the District of Columbia “have contributed to making the competition a national tradition.” Miss USA is a division of the Miss Universe Organization, which is a Donald J. Trump and NBC Universal joint venture.