Another sign of the apocalypse?
Miss California Carrie Prejean and Miss USA pageant owner Donald Trump today both defended that much-discussed answer she gave at the Miss USA event -- that marriage should be between one man and one woman -- by asserting that it is the same as President Obama's stand on the issue.
Obama has supported benefits, equal rights, and civil unions for same-sex couples, but has opposed gay marriage.
"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage," he said in a MTV interview just before Election Day.
But he also said he opposed Proposition 8 in California, which passed in November and banned same-sex marriage in the state, because it was playing around with the state's constitution.
Trump announced today that Prejean will get to keep her crown, despite a series of photos that have emerged of a scantily clad Prejean, which some said violated her contract with the pageant.
"I've become an advocate for not redefining marriage," she said at a news conference given wall-to-wall coverage by the cable networks.
Her answer came last month in response to a question from celebrity blogger Perez Hilton about Vermont becoming the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. She said it was great to live in a country where people can choose same-sex marriage, but she believed it should be reserved for men and women.
"That's how I was raised," she said.
Today, she also claimed she had been unfairly criticized for speaking from her heart and just using her constitutional right to free speech. "That should not happen in America," she said, her voice rising.
So, in the 21st century -- as Trump repeatedly reminded the assembled press it was -- a beauty pageant contestant is becoming a key player in a politically charged issue, with both sides seizing on her comment and the publicity it has received.
Prejean jumped into the fray again by helping unveil a TV ad campaign launched late last month by the National Organization for Marriage criticizing her critics.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.