Christian Examiner | Michael Foust | May 1, 2009
With the assistance of Miss California USA Carrie Prejean, a leading conservative group launched a television ad April 30 saying the criticism the beauty contestant has received is symbolic of what will happen to religious freedoms if the nation legalizes “gay marriage.”
Nom, a leading conservative group, launched a television ad saying the criticism the beauty contestant received is symbolic of what will happen to religious freedoms if the nation legalizes “gay marriage.”
Perhaps an even stronger statement about the risk of religious freedoms came within hours of launching its new commercial, when viewers of the ad on YouTube were treated to a black screen with the words “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Mario Lavandeira.” NOM began airing the ad again on May 1.
No further details were available at press time.
Lavandeira is better known as Perez Hilton, the gay gossip blogger who served as a judge for the Miss USA pageant and posed the question on gay marriage to Prejean. Since Prejean answered that she supports traditional marriage, she has been the victim of video attacks by Hilton and subjected to criticism by gay activists nationwide.
Prejean herself is featured in the 60-second National Organization for Marriage ad, which claims “gay marriage” supporters “want to silence opposition.” It will air in several markets, including New Hampshire, where conservatives are trying to urge Democratic Gov. John Lynch to veto a “gay marriage” bill that seems headed to his desk.
Prejean appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” Thursday morning and at a press conference later in the day where the ad was unveiled.
“I was attacked for giving my own opinion onstage at the Miss USA contest,” she said on NBC. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to protect marriage. It’s something that is very dear to my heart.”
At the press conference, she said the traditional view of marriage is “not hateful” and “not discriminatory.”
“There is something special about unions of husbands and wives,” she said. “Unless we bring men and women together, children will not have mothers and fathers. I do not want to raise my own children in a world where this traditional view of marriage is considered hateful or discriminatory — especially not by my own government.”
The controversy began during the Miss USA pageant April 19, when Prejean was asked a question and responded by saying she believed “marriage should be between a man and a woman.” She finished as first runner-up, and the judge who asked the question — celebrity blogger Perez Hilton — posted a video saying Prejean lost because she is a “dumb [expletive].” A second judge, Las Vegas entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs, wrote on her blog that Prejean “made the mistake of not knowing when to shut her mouth” and that if Jacobs could have done so, she would “have made her 51st runner-up.”
Giuliana Rancic, a news anchor on E! Television, wrote on her Twitter account regarding Prejean, “i know i’m a journalist, and i should be objective … but she is an ignorant discrace [sic] and she makes me sick to my stomach.” Not to be outdone, MSNBC anchor David Shuster wrote on his Twitter account of Hilton, “I think his assessment of Miss [California] USA’s logic was accurate.”
Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said the attacks on Prejean have helped open eyes in the ongoing debate over redefining marriage. Gallagher’s organization was the same one that released a much-debated ad called “Gathering Storm” in early April. That ad said “gay marriage” legalization has a negative impact on parental rights and religious liberty.
“I think what is happening with Carrie is resonating enormously, because gay marriage advocates have been unable to persuade the majority of Americans that they’re right, so what they’ve switched to doing in the wake of the Prop 8 victory is trying to silence, harass and intimidate good people who don’t agree with them,” Gallagher told Baptist Press. “So, this ad uses what happened to Carrie to communicate that this is wrong and that gay marriage is going to have consequences, because we’re seeing the consequences already. What will this movement do when they have the power of the law to back them up? They believe people like Carrie are like bigots who oppose interracial marriage.”
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