Saturday, May 16, 2009

Open Forum: Miss California's Effect on the Gay Rights Movement

In what now has become an infamous event, Miss California the runner up who publicly stated she opposed same-sex marriage during the Miss USA pageant, has become the center of a media frenzy. The media has been obsessed with Carrie Prejean, her crown, her nude photos, her coined term "opposite-sex marriage" and whether she should be entitled to remain Miss California.

The left wing media has painted this woman a bigot, and a lying idiot who violated the rules, whereas the right-wing media has painted her as the new patron saint of the "traditional marriage" movement. Regardless about how you feel about Carrie Prejean, she certainly is having her 15 minutes of fame, and getting everyone to pine in about it.

Does Miss California help or hurt the gay rights movement? On one hand gay rights activists are being called hateful, and censoring, on the other hand this brings the issue to the forefront again, bringing many of our allies and big time celebrities have come out to speak about why marriage equality is a civil rights issue. When this is all over and we look back, will we see Carrie Prejean as the modern day Anita Bryant, or is that giving her too much credit?


Anonymous said...

Carrie who? I couldn't care less what she thinks.

Is she helping or hindering gay rights? I don't know. Yes, people are now talking about it more, but that also brings out the bigoted folks who will back her up because their little 'holy' book tells them homosexuality is wrong.

It's up to humanity to grow out of silly notions of discrimination based on someone's sexuality. You can't choose skin color, and to discriminate based on that is wrong, everyone agrees. But to discriminate on someone's sexuality - another thing that you can't choose - seems to be okay for her and her ilk? That's wrong.

She can have her 15 minutes of 'lame fame', and then disappear into obscurity, never to be heard from again, as it should be.

The Continuumq5 said...

She is useless and hopeless and no gay hairstylist or makeup artist will ever make her pretty again I assure you. She is just another Anita no doubt but we showed her the way out too;-)

Queers United said...

Anon you make a good point, all the attention also gives rise to the anti-gay voices of NOM and the Maggie Gallagher's of the world. The thing is, and maybe it's just me, but I feel they just keep saying the same thing, they have no new material. I just feel the more gay marriage is talked about, the better our chances. I think the opposition can barely pick up new people, they are just on the defense.

CrackerLilo said...

I wish Perez Hilton had never judged, let alone asked the question. I initially felt a touch of sympathy for Prejean, just a frisson, because she was thrown into a no-win situation. Perez Hilton is just plain mean and stupid, too. (And now I'm being like him. Oh, well.)

I think the hypocrisy of it all is ultimately helpful, though. Prejean first hit our TV screens in a teeny white bikini that, if memory serves correctly, would get any teen girl in any conservative Christian youth group thrown right out of the swimming party and possibly the group itself. (I mentioned over at Wayne Besen's how I was nagged about wearing bright, patterned tights under knee-length skirts and therefore drawing attention to my legs. If anything, I gather there is more of an emphasis on "modesty" now.) She posed topless, too. I don't wish to add to the shame, but, um, *what*? If Carrie Prejean can't live by her God's rules about sexuality, why the F*** should the rest of us have to?!?!

The fact that Jonathan Falwell of the ironically named "Liberty" University embraced her is also interesting. Current students are required to follow a stringent dress code. But Carrie is a good Christian role model because...she doesn't like gay people and think they deserve civil rights, no offense? You gotta be homophobic to go to heaven now, and anything else is optional?

I honestly can't help but think that:

1. Some fence-sitters will think this reflects rather poorly on our opposition.

2. There are some angry and confused young women at Liberty University and in the youth groups.

Queers United said...

Cracker I am actually happy Perez judged and asked the question. It is a pressing issue, since when does asking a tough and controversial question become troublesome? I thought this pageant was supposed to be about brains, beauty and personality, but who are we kidding we all know it is about the looks. I don't know why Perez Hilton gets such a bad rep, I don't think he is the gay spokesperson, but I am proud to have him on board speaking for us publicly.

Anonymous said...

I guess I find this all unbelievable. I am a 45 year old man who married my partner of 10 years last year. Our lives have been full of experiences that a 21 year old beauty queen could never understand, yet she can vote on our rights and the media finds her as a victim. I really am ashamed of this country, it is a lie.

Vanessa said...

I think it helps the gay movement. The fact that the far right needs to rally around a beauty pageant winner shows how desperate they are.

Really, who you choose to lead your cause says a lot about who you are.

Anonymous said...

how you get change to happen?
change people's minds.
get them to think.
show them the truth?
get their attention?
sneak it into their entertainment....

in the long haul, it does help equality.

for the record I could care less if peopley want her fired. that's about a contract, and does nothing to help equality.


Queers United said...

Vanessa, it's true, the fact that NOM picked her really says more about them.

CrackerLilo said...

I just think Perez Hilton is icky. It's like the way Carrie Prejean and the NOMbies think same-sex marriage is icky, except I don't want to make any laws against him. Just, you know, keep him off my property and don't let him frighten the horses. :-)

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