Carrie Prejean, the reigning Miss California-USA. (Photo unabashedly stolen from Perez Hilton, the pageant judge who started all of this with an innocent question.)
I was working at Plexus feminist newspaper in the Bay Area in 1981, when Nikki Craft and the Preying Mantis Brigade protested the Miss California pageant in delightful Yippiefied fashion. They dressed in bathrobes, with hair in curlers and such, and gave themselves titles: Miss Used, Miss Informed, Miss Understood, etc...Nikki herself was all done up as Myth California. She made the cover that month, if memory serves, waving from a "float" that was similarly amusingly decorated.
And so, I have thought of "Myth California" ever since. And particularly this week, as we consider the sordid news of Miss California's incomprehensible blather over "same sex" vs. "opposite marriage"--when asked The Big Question during the pageant. (I agree wholeheartedly with Michael Musto, they really shouldn't expect them to ANSWER QUESTIONS! I mean, WHY?! Do we CARE?!)
But Carrie Prejean's reply got her a pretty good gig, and yes, the horrible Maggie Gallagher has come calling:
Miss California appears in anti-gay marriage ad
Fri May 1, 2009 2:27am BST
By Alex Dobuzinskis
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After failing to stop recent gay marriage approvals in several states, opponents have found an attractive, telegenic poster woman in Miss California, a move reminiscent of beauty queen Anita Bryant's 1970s crusade against gay rights.
Miss California, a Christian college student named Carrie Prejean, joined in a television ad campaign against gay marriage this week, upsetting homosexual rights advocates, including a head of the Miss California pageant.
In the commercial from the National Organization for Marriage, Prejean is shown at the Miss USA competition last month where she answered a question about same-sex marriage by saying she opposed it, drawing both boos and cheers and setting off a raucous debate.
After providing that answer, Prejean was named runner-up to Miss USA. She later said her view on marriage cost her the crown.
As gay marriage opponents have rallied around Miss California, they have also lost key battles in recent weeks.
On Wednesday, New Hampshire's Senate passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and if the governor signs it, the state could become the fifth to legalize gay weddings.
Last month, Iowa became the first Midwest state to allow gay marriage, and Vermont became the first to legalize it through legislative action.
Craig Rimmerman, co-editor of "The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage," said Prejean's rise to prominence comes as gay marriage opponents are on the defensive.
"The conservative right is wondering if same-sex marriage is as potent an issue politically as it was in the past," he said. "So for them to have a different spokeswoman who comes at this from a different background, they probably see this as a really positive development."
GIRL FROM VISTA
California is often characterized as a liberal state for politics in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but Prejean comes from a small town, Vista, in conservative San Diego County.
The 21-year-old is not a permanent spokeswoman for the National Organization for Marriage, but in recent weeks she has appeared on TV shows reaffirming her views on gay marriage, and on Thursday she joined the group to launch the TV ad.
"I think that Carrie's story is resonating incredibly," said Maggie Gallagher, the group's president. "Because she comes across as what she is, she's just a genuine, decent, honest person who stood up for truth and gave up the tiara."
Just call him doctor Love!
And what I'll betcha didn't know is, the Alabama House of Representatives voted on a resolution saying they officially LOVE Carrie Prejean. In fact, the resolution was suitably written by a star-struck young politician named LOVE:
Alabama House Votes Support of Miss California
April 28th, 2009 at 1:50 pm
by Josh Gross
Indeed it is, as Congressman Love is obviously beside himself in lusty admiration for the "Christian values" of Carrie Prejean, who would ordinarily never even give a nerdy southern Christian fundamentalist like him, the time of day.
Alabama Legislators found a puzzling balance last week when they voted to include sexual orientation under hate crime legislation, then voted on a bill of support Miss California, Carrie Prejean, for “standing true to her beliefs and her faith while representing her state in the Miss USA Pageant.”
The resolution, introduced by Subway franchise owner and Republican House Member Jay Love, also lauds her charity work and her academic career at San Diego Christian College.
The full text of the resolution can be read here, but I’m warning you now, it’s creepy.
Well, you know what they say: strange bedfellows.