Carrie Prejean, at The Rock Church, San Diego
Miss California Carrie Prejean, who finished runner-up in the Miss USA pageant after affirming on air that “marriage should be between a man and a woman,” claims that her state sponsors urged her afterwards to apologize for the statement and keep quiet about her Christian faith.
Prejean appeared yesterday at The Rock Church in San Diego, the Associated Press reports, and told the congregation what she remembers being told following the pageant.
“‘You need to apologize to the gay community. You need to not talk about your faith,” Prejean recalled being instructed. “This has everything to do with you representing California and saving the brand.'”
Prejean, however, defended her statement by alluding to California’s
Proposition 8 ballot initiative, in which the state’s voters added
language to the California Constitution defining marriage as only
between one man and one woman.
“I was representing California,” Prejean declared yesterday. “I was representing the majority of people in California.”
Keith Lewis, executive director of Miss California USA/Teen USA, also wrote a letter condemning Prejean that echoed what she says she was told following the pageant.
“As co-executive director of Miss CA USA and one of the leaders of the Miss CA family, I am personally saddened and hurt that Miss CA USA 2009 believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman,” he wrote. “Although I believe all religions should be able to ordain what unions they see fit, I do not believe our government should be able to discriminate against anyone. Religious beliefs have no place in politics in the Miss CA family.”
Prejean nonetheless refused to apologize for the answer she gave.
“I don’t take back what I said,” Prejean told the church, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report. “No way I wasn’t going to stand up for what I believe in.”
On NBC’s “Today” last week, Prejean, a student at San Diego Christian College, explained what went through her mind when pageant judge Perez Hilton, an openly homosexual celebrity gossip blogger, asked her about same-sex marriage:
“I knew at that moment after I answered the question, I knew, I was not going to win because of my answer, because I had spoken from my heart, from my beliefs and for my God,” she said. “I wouldn’t have answered it differently. The way I answered may have been offensive. With that question specifically, it’s not about being politically correct. For me it was being biblically correct.”
At church yesterday, she added, “I learned that God has a bigger crown than any man can give you.”
As WND reported, Hilton asked Prejean on live television during the Miss USA pageant whether or not every state should legalize same-sex marriage.
Her answer, which has made her the sudden center of both praise and scorn, included the words, “In my country, in my family, I think that 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 and that’s how I think it should be – between a man and a woman.”
Video of the question and Prejean’s full answer can be seen here:
Hilton, whose given name is Mario Armando Lavandeira, admitted later that he gave Prejean a zero score for her answer, likely costing her the pageant crown, which she had previously been considered a frontrunner to win.
Following the contest, however, Hilton launched into a full-blown attack on Prejean – publicly calling her a b-tch and a c—, as well as defacing photos of her with sexually explicit drawings.
Hilton also echoed the pressure for Prejean to be quiet about her Christian faith.
During a appearance of his own on NBC’s “Today,” Hilton explained that he demands a Miss USA winner be “politically savvy,” and that even though Prejean is a Christian, he doesn’t want her “talking about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, because that’s offensive.”
An audio clip of Hilton’s comments can be heard below:
A legal analyst told Fox News Prejean may have grounds for a discrimination lawsuit.
“It’s her religious beliefs which prompted her to say ‘I don’t believe in same-sex marriages,'” analyst Mercedes Colwin said. “So she was espousing her beliefs,” and has reason to sue for violation of Title VII, which prohibits discrimination based on religion.
And while a handful of celebrities have joined Hilton in bashing the beauty queen, Prejean has also become a celebrity to many who support her beliefs – with thousands of fans encouraging her in over a dozen Facebook groups.
“I’ve gotten … hundreds of messages from people I don’t know, saying how proud of me they are that I stood my ground,” Prejean told Fox News last week. “That made me the real winner of the night.”
Prejean is indeed getting positive feedback online from across the nation, with supporters posting comments like the following:
- As a young Christian woman, also interested in beauty pageants I’m very proud of the answer you gave. You are a role model for others to follow. If they can stand proud and say they are gay, we should also stand proud and say we are Christians. … What you did was honorable. Now more people will be brave in standing for what they believe.
- Very proud to be a fellow Californian and Christian! What a great example for my daughter!
- Well done, thou good and faithful servant!
- You spoke the truth and spoke for me. I am so proud that you stood up for God and you are being mightily blessed. It gives me hope that our country still believes in Christian values and God has given you a way to share the Lord.
- Amazing! That a young lady has the guts to stand up to the gay mafia, and our spineless men in office don’t! You are an inspiration to us all
- Thank you for what you did! I know it probably feels like the whole world is against you right now, but in the Christian community you are a hero and I am proud of you!
- You’re my Miss USA.
- Carrie, the amount of people who support you far outnumbers the closed minded minority that doesn’t.
- Dear Carrie Prejean, Miss California, Will you marry me? No really, I’m serious … Will you?
- The crown you will have in heaven will be a million times better than the Miss USA crown. You are a daughter of the King and you will wear a golden crown! Thank you for encouraging me in my faith and in my walk with Christ!
Concerned individuals may contact the Miss Universe Organization..
To send a message to VH 1, the channel that airs Hilton’s shows, call (212)258-6000 or send an e-mail.