Little Fish in a Giant pond

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In Defence of Miss California

All right, I realize I'm opening a can of worms here, and frankly I think the issue is getting far more attention than it derserves, but I have to say that I feel bad for this 21 year old kid.
For those of you who haven't been following, Carrie Prejean, AKA "Miss California" stated on national television that she was opposed to gay marriage. Since then topless photos of the pageant contestant have since surfaced on the internet, in an apparent attempt to discredit her. After having considered the matter, Pageant owner Donald Trump has decided that Miss California can keep her crown, which prompted the pageant's co-director to resign in protest.
Before I go any further, I want to make one thing clear. I am in favour of same sex marriage. I believe very strongly that to deny gays the right to marry is a violation of their right to equal treatment under the law. In my opinion, Ms Prejean's views on marriage are completely void of logic, and should not be given a second thought... but that does not mean she does not have the right to express them.

Like most proponents of same sex marriage, I watched in horror as the people of California voted against gay marriage in a recent referendum. It is yet another example of why the rights of minorities should not be decided based solely on the whims of the majority. As horrific as this moment was, it shows that clearly there are a lot of people out there who feel the same way as Prejean. They were asked a question and they answered it. Should they all therefore be punished? Prime Minister Jean Chrétien once held the same position as Miss California. Parliament even passed a motion to that effect! (I am proud to say, that I used to work for one of the few Liberal MPs who did not follow the party lines and voted against that motion). It was only after an Ontario Court ruled that denying gays the right to marry violated the charter that the PM changed his mind. Should Jean Chrétien and all of the MPs be punished for the way they voted on that original motion? I think not. I hate to say it, but the Donald made the right call.

Hate speach is one thing, giving an honest opinion in response to a question is another. I have no problem with the sections of our Criminal Code that aim to protect society from the promotion of hatred; however, we on the left wing have to be more careful about the way we villify those who disagree with us. We have to stop attacking the individual, and focus on the idea, because anyone can humiliate someone into biting their tongue, but it takes a true intellectual to actually pursuade their opponents to agree with them.

As for the topless photos, I suppose Prejean only has herself to blame, as they probably would have surfaced on their own at some time, whether she had spoken out against gay marriage or not. I personally see nothing wrong with the photos (it's her body, it's her call!), but she had to have known that not everyone would feel that way and controversy would be inevitable.

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6 Comments:

  • I agree with you on Carrie Prejean. She was asked a question and she gave an honest answer what she believed in and she did it in a respectful way. I do not think all the broo-ha-ha was needed. Remember this :
    "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?François-Marie Arouet

    I think she would have made a good Miss USA.

    By Blogger LeDaro, at 5:26 PM  

  • Words to live by!

    By Blogger Fish, at 5:02 AM  

  • C'mon Fish, you're just going soft on this girl because you've still got those Polaroids of your prom date. Do the right thing, Fish. Tear them up.

    By Blogger The Mound of Sound, at 7:32 AM  

  • Never!

    By Blogger Fish, at 9:05 AM  

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  • This will not have effect in reality, that is what I believe.

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