Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reevaluating Miss California's answer

Carrie Prejean was reassured today by Donald Trump that she would keep her crown as Miss California despite breaking key provisions of her contract, including not disclosing the fact that nude and semi-nude photos existed of her. Prejean lost the Miss USA competition in large part due to her response to a question regarding gay marriage, in which she answered that she believed marriage should remain between one man and one woman.

In a previous post, I defended Prejean and argued it was wrong for the judges to fault her for stating her opinion. When I think about it now, perhaps I was wrong.

I still believe that Prejean and other finalists should, for the most part, not be "punished" for their opinions. But consider this extreme: if she had been asked about her opinion on stealing candy from children, and had answered that she was all for it, would it be wrong for the Miss USA judges to hold her opinion against her?

Ultimately, the judges make decisions on finalists based on whom best represents the Miss USA pageant. If a judge believes that a finalist's answer is not befitting the crown -- whether the question has to do with stealing candy or gay marriage -- then they have the right to judge her accordingly.

Prejean's right to free speech was not abridged in any way, shape, or form; she is allowed to hold whatever opinion she wants regarding gay marriage, even if some believe she is in the wrong. However, whether involved in a pageant, a job interview, or some other situation where your opinions are meant to represent the opinions of an organization as a whole, her opinions are fair game, and deserve just as much scrutiny as she received during the swimsuit competition.

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