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Dear Perez: Miss California Gave The Right Answer For The Moment

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I am an openly gay man and a supporter of same sex marriage and I wish Perez Hilton would shut up. This is a person who is famous for smearing snarky and crude things over celebrity photos and following Brittney's every move. He lives for controversy and is only famous for it: not his overwhelming political activism, not his witty insights into the psyche of America or even the gay community, not even thought provoking conversations; no, he's a fame whore and he does it very, very well.

That's why he asked Miss California a no-win question in the recent Miss USA Pageant which may or may not have cost her the win (since only women and gay men basically care about these things). That, and the enormous press he and his blog are getting; a blog whose popularity relies upon scandal and changing out a demographic that ages as the country's economy falls.

So he gets his shot on national TV to ask a finalist a question and he asks if she thinks or feels, in light of less than 1/10th of United States allowing it, if gay marriage should be legal in all states and if so, why or why not?

The root of her answer was no, marriage should be between a man and a woman "according to how she was raised."

It's a question with no right answer for a pageant contestant and one that also insults every person out there that is gay or lesbian -- not her answer, the question. If she answered the way the blogger wanted she would have had the religious right wanting her crown (given the answer allegedly cost her such) and moderates asking if politics is proper in the pageant. Remember, ever since Vanessa Williams showed the world real women can do hot photos no pageant wants controversy. And, well, we see what happened when she answered to the contrary of the question: she loses, is denounced and called a "bitch" and the "c" word by the blogger on national TV and print.

Well, there's a great representation of my community.

"Why did this guy feel a need to put this back on the national debate table in this way, in such a divisive and ridiculous way," Steve from Oakland called and asked on my Monday, April 20th broadcast of my syndicated radio show, The Karel Show. "I'm gay and I think what she said is wrong, but this is not a productive way to be discussing the issue. Also, he asked what she felt, not what she would make law, she's entitled to an opinion, even a wrong one..."

And there's the danger, blogger. You set her up to be the patron saint of those who are launching such campaigns as "The Storm" and 2 M4M (no lie, Two Million for Marriage); campaigns that paint those that do not agree with same sex marriage as victims. You just gave them a powder-puffed-coiffed-to-the-teeth statuesque martyr in the form of Miss California.

And as to the question, sorry, blogger, your state, the state you sit in and promote and pay tax dollars to, my state, has said "no" to same sex marriage by a majority vote and its State Supreme Court is about to uphold that ban. 11 states in 2004 after Gavin Newsom granted marriage licenses voted to outlaw same sex marriage and some domestic partnerships as well. There is still a Defense of Marriage Act allowing states to not recognize any same sex marriages performed in the few states that allow them. Barack Obama has said he "was against Propostion 8 but believes marriage is between a man and a woman" and no leading Democrat from Nancy Pelosi to Dianne Feinstein has made marriage equality for all a major platform or cause. Even openly gay Barney Frank said three weeks ago that he wishes the community would "wait" to wage this battle until the "homophobic" Scalia is off the U.S. Supreme Court.

In other words, if MIss California who wants to be Miss USA is to reflect the mood of her state and country, her answer was right on, blogger. The country, by law, statute and vote still believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. Now that is unpopular in the gay community, the younger demographics (30 and below) and with progressives or those that champion civil rights. It's unpopular with those that study state and federal constitutions that have equal protections clauses knowing they are going unapplied to millions. But it is the current law of most of this land, the land that she wanted to represent. If you don't like the law of your land move. If thine eye offends thee, pluck it out, as the delusional often say. Miss California said in four states you have the option to get married. You want to get married, go there. Otherwise, she, and the rest of the nation feel (by law alone) that discrimination is fine. Sadly, Regis Philbin would have to say to her, "Final answer? You're right!"

No, she wouldn't' be asked if two people of different races should be able to marry, or of two different faiths, both of which were illegal at one time. It is true the only group on which it is still fully acceptable to unload is the gay community (in the name of morals or God) but oh well, that's the sad fact. And no, it's not pleasant. But stop throwing a hissy fit. In the time since the incident she's come off as a classy and charming mannequin with an uninformed bigot underneath and you a loud angry hissy fit homo who again misses the point.

Don't rail on her, rail on the policy. If you were so concerned about same-sex marriage, why aren't you using your website (and all its traffic) and TV appearances to sign a petition to repeal the amendment process in California, putting it back in legislative hands and out of voter's so blondes like her from the state (can you say Orange County?) can't vote on the topic in campaigns funded by this or that special interest or religion? In fact, stop asking people questions in public how they feel about equality, a fundamental civil right like it's up for debate, so more people can vote one side or the other on the topic. Civil rights are not up for debate. The Constitution guarantees that equal equals equal so I know one day marriage will be legal for all couples that want it. Fight that fight in a way that works and leave someone whose job it is to model dresses and be objectified by men alone, even if it's for your own advantage. Technically, she gave the POPULAR and CORRECT answer in her country like it or not. Change that and you make her look stupid and irrelevant. Attack the message, not the messenger.

I disagree with Miss California, whose name I do not use on purpose, but I support her right to have her opinions. I support her right to rally people to keep marriage between a man and a woman -- it's America. She is ill informed or brainwashed by religion or some other force. Don't ask a scorpion why it stung you, it's a scorpion, that's what it does, Ask why its sting hurts so much and why its attack is still condoned. The answer to those questions, and changing of those situations is how you, we, us, Americans that believe in equality win. Those that seek legal oppression should not have their voice codified in law, but the First Amendment gives them a voice.

And truthfully, who the hell cares what a pageant winner thinks about social policies? SHE'S A PAGEANT BEAUTY QUEEN, not running for public office. Her job will be to attend corporate events and speak all around the country. IF she won and IF she went on a anti-marriage campaign, then, in America it would be your right to launch some sort of campaign against her. Chances are, she would have stayed away from that topic for an entire year. Quickly, off the top of the head, name one political stance of one past MIss USA? War in Iraq? Abortion? Economy? The Bush Years?

Exactly.

The Founding Fathers drafted the only ammunition needed in the fight for marriage equality. Equal equals Equal. Shoot at those things that matter and don't waste that ammo on those that don't matter in the battle. Collateral damage. Miss California gave an answer from her heart that reflects the legal and prevalent political mood in the country; it's a shame, and it's fundamentally wrong, but for her, it was the absolute right answer.

To hear audio from The Karel Show on this topic, go here.The Karel Show