Scott Kaiser

Regarding the Perez Hilton - Miss California Controversy

Filed By Scott Kaiser | April 22, 2009 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Marriage Equality
Tags: freedom of speech, gay marriage, marriage equality, Miss California, Miss USA, Perez Hilton, same-sex marriage

Note from Scott: This was originally written by me elsewhere on the web for a primarily straight audience.

I'm a gay man, but Perez Hilton is an idiot. He doesn't speak for me nor does he speak for the gay community at large. He's just someone who happens to be gay and became famous by gossiping and making nasty comments about celebrities. As far as I'm concerned, he can go back to the rock he crawled out from under.

I believe in being tolerant of other people's beliefs. Miss California Carrie Prejean has a right to believe gay marriage is wrong if she so chooses. I disagree with her of course and think her views are bigoted and ignorant, but she is entitled to them. As long as her beliefs don't violate my civil rights, she can believe what she wants. I reserve the right to try to educate her about why I feel gay marriage should be allowed, but in the end I will not demand she adopts my point of view.

However there are consequences. People seem to think that free speech gives them a free ticket. I'm here to remind them it doesn't. You are entitled to a prejudiced viewpoint, yet you cannot expect others to ignore it. If someone chooses to believe African-Americans should be segregated and publicly makes those views known, they probably won't be asked to speak at the next NAACP meeting. General Mills probably won't put that person on their next box of Wheaties. The same is true with the Miss USA pageant

Should Carrie Prejean have been denied the Miss USA crown? She wasn't disqualified because of her response so she wasn't "denied" anything as some people might have you believe. Still it might have swayed votes. That's completely fair. I, as a gay man, know I would not have voted for her because of her response. Other judges might have.

Ultimately when the votes were counted, she lost out. Don't try to convince me she was a victim.

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SammySeattle | April 22, 2009 6:23 PM

I want to hear her answer this question: "How do you think your delivery of your answer affected your score with the judges?" Why isn't anyone asking her that question? Isn't the purpose of the interview segment of a pageant to show how well a contestant can think on her feet and answer a question intelligently and succinctly.

People seem to think that free speech gives them a free ticket.

And those people seems to be concentrated among the Christian right....

She's only a victim of her idiocy. She has every right to believe what she believes with regard to marriage equality. But when you are trying to win a contest that is being judged by other people (with at least two of those people being openly gay), you answer a question like that in a very diplomatic way that will not offend anyone. She failed at that, and we the public as well as the judges want a diplomatic and intelligent person representing the "Miss USA" title. Period.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | April 22, 2009 11:34 PM

I agree.

Was the only way Ms. Prejean could have won would have been to lie about her beliefs? No. She could of handled the question differently knowing she was talking to a gay judge. She could have said something like "Gay marriage is an extremely emotional issue in our country. I believe it should be left up to each state to decide according to the will of its people." That way she didn't have to necessarily place herself in the firing line while not denying her stance on the issue either.

As SammySeattle said above, the purpose of the questions is too see how well-spoken the contestant is and their ability to think on their feet. She failed.

The other thing that gets to me about people who want to makes sure you know that they have a right to free speech is that they somehow think that their right to speak makes listening compulsory to everyone else.
We all have a right to speak but we don't have a requirement to listen.

I agree with Danny Lee Clark ("Nitro", from American Gladiator) who told Hannity tonight that he has wonderful gay people in his family and that Perez Hilton makes all gays look obnoxious and abrasive.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | April 22, 2009 11:57 PM

You watched Hannity?


They have American gladiators on Fox News?

Don't you know every homophobe is a victim, Scott!