On April 19th Carrie Prejean, the California contestant in the Miss USA pageant, found herself in an awkward situation when she was asked about same-sex marriage by celebrity gossip columnist Perez Hilton. Like a deer in the headlights, the ill-prepared Carrie Prejean stumbled with incoherent statements that mirrored the conservative views of her family, her ministers and supposedly Jesus Christ himself. Many believe her answer led to her loss of the tiara.
Suddenly, however, Carrie Prejean has become the new-found spokesmodel for divisiveness, prejudice,hatred and intolerance. I doubt however, that she’d ever considered a career in this as a student at the San Diego Christian College but she appears to have taken the reins and is leading the team down the streets of todays segregated media outlets.
Less than a month after stepping into her own words while wearing pretty high-heels, she has hired a Christian public relations firm and recently announced that she would star in a $1.5 million ad campaign funded by the National Organization for Marriage, a group which hopes to continue to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.
What I find remarkably sad about this entire debacle is that Carrie Prejean is making a social splash, profiting actually, from the business of discrimination. She is not the only person in California to vote in favor of Proposition 8 but the others are not earning paychecks because of it. Even more troubling is that there are “Christian” companies that claim to be acting in the name of Jesus while making profits from the business of intolerance.
History is repeating itself because a little more than thirty-years ago Anita Bryant stepped onto the stage espousing similar remarks filled with hatred and intolerance. Anita herself was pageant queen. She rose to fame as a singer and later as the spokes person for the Florida Citrus Commission. It was when Anita Bryant chose to make the move into the politics of hatred that her career imploded.
Sadly Carrie Prejean doesn’t even have a career yet but the fame-seeking runner up appears to be building one on the very precepts that brought down her Sister of the
Tiara. Anything that Carrie Prejean chooses to do with her life will now be mired in this controversy.
She may sign a $1.5 million ad campaign today, but how likely is it that audiences will flock to see her on the silver screen five years from now? The paid-for breast augmentation by the Miss California USA organization may not be enough to salvage the career aspirations of Carrie Prejean – who is studying to be a teacher in Special Education.
Recently Carrie Prejean said she was praying for Perez Hilton. And in 1977, the Anita Bryant camp said the same thing to the protesters, who at a news conference in Des Moines, gave her a pie in the face. A pie in the face is a rare act, even today, but the proverbial pie in the face for Carrie Prejean has already been launched.