Stop Picking on Miss California

Please. Miss California answered a question from controversial blogger Perez Hilton on gay marriage. Gay marriage is a subject that prompts much disagreement, and while I am certainly on the side of gay marriage, let's remember that many of the most respected, progressive leaders in this country do not hold that view. President Barack Obama, for one, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for another.

Miss California Carrie Prejean responded to a question at a beauty pageant about gay marriage. A beauty pageant. As anyone who watches these contests is well aware, the contestants very often seem pre-programmed in their responses, because months of training has to anticipate many of the questions. Miss California was clearly not expecting a question about gay marriage. She shouldn't have anticipated the question, because her views are irrelevant to most people and have little to do with the title of Miss USA.

So now there are those that want to clobber her for her (inarticulately stated) position against gay marriage. Let's remember that the country is divided on the issue. The gay marriage side has momentum. I'm of the belief that the argument against gay marriage is just nonsensical and that gay marriage will eventually be accepted in most of the country. Gay people are already getting married in a couple of states. Has your life changed at all? Do you view your heterosexual marriage any differently? Of course not. And hetero marriage has already been denigrated as an institution by heterosexuals. Ask Larry King, Britney Spears, or any of a host of people who view marriage as slightly more of a commitment than a New Year's Resolution.

But my position on gay marriage is not the point; neither is your position the point. The point is, we live in a free and sometimes civil society, in which people are free to express their views, and Miss California did not state that she would not let her kids around "queers" around her kids - that's Joe the Plumber. She stated that she was against gay marriage. Perhaps half the country shares her view.

Miss California is being bullied for her position on this issue, and on this, I agree with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. I heard the "View" co-hostess on "Larry King" last night, and she was talking about Miss California. She stated (if I recall correctly) that if the beauty queen was pro-gay marriage, she would not be the source of relentless rumors and media coverage. Elisabeth is right.

So now, in a further attempt to embarrass Carrie Prejean, there are semi-unclothed pictures of Miss Califonia hitting the Web, and who knows what's to follow. In the words of the great philosopher/basketball player Derrick Coleman, "Whoop-de-damn-do." She's a beauty pageant contestant - would it be a shock if she posed naked or semi naked? Haven't we been down this road already - more than 20 years ago, with Vanessa Williams, who lost her Miss America crown and turned out to be the most talented, articulate and famous Miss America of all?

Carrie may lose her crown because of her pictures. And if the rules say that you lose your crown for posing semi-naked, so be it. The rules are the rules. But these pictures are being brought to the fore because of her position on gay marriage. That's unfair.

All that will happen from this is that progressives will elevate Miss California into a position of more renown, and turn her into a poster child of liberal bullying for the right to hold over our heads. The left will hold torture over the right. The right will consider what is happening to Carrie Prejean torture - just wait and see. This bullying will be more offensive to the far right than waterboarding. Miss California will end up walking away from this with her head held high. Will the people who picked on her be able to say the same?