Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton may have been crowned Miss USA 2009 on Sunday, but on Monday, it was Miss California Carrie Prejean’s answer to a question about same-sex marriage from celebrity blogger and pageant judge Perez Hilton that was the night’s biggest story.
During the show, Perez asked Carrie, “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”
“Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. Um, we live in a land that you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and in, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman,” Carrie said to a mix of boos and applause. “No offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think that it should be between a man and a woman.”
Carrie’s answer to the hot button question cost her the crown – at least according to Perez.
“The way miss California answered her question lost her the crown, without a doubt!” Perez told Access Hollywood after the pageant. “Never before that I’m aware of has a contestant been booed at Miss USA.”
Keith Lewis, Co-Executive Director of the Miss California USA and Miss California Teen USA said in statement to Access Hollywood that he respects Carrie’s opinion, even if it differs with his.
“I am proud of Carrie Prejean’s beauty and placement at the 2009 Miss USA pageant. I support Carrie’s right to express her personal beliefs even if they do not coincide with my own,” Keith told Access. “I believe the subject of gay marriage deserves a great deal more conversation in order to heal the divide it has created.”
PerezHilton.com initially reported that Keith was “personally saddened and hurt” by Carrie’s comments. Keith told Access he did not release a statement to the celebrity blogger.
A rep for Shanna Moakler, who inherited the Miss USA title in 1995 when Miss USA Chelsi Smith was crowned Miss Universe, told Perez that she “supports Keith’s views 100%.”
On Monday morning, Miss California talked to Billy Bush for “The Billy Bush Show” and Access Hollywood. To listen to Billy’s interview where Carrie revealed that a member of her family is a gay rights activist, CLICK HERE!