In the midst of a glorious springtime, as I get ready to fly across the country to celebrate the college graduation of my daughter, I was was listening to my fave talk radio host...spend an hour on the pathetic topic of Miss California.
Yes, I'd read that Carrie Prejean had gotten in trouble answering Perez Hilton's question about whether every state should follow Vermont's legalization of gay marriage. I was irked that her insipid answer that "...in my family, I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there, but that's the way I was raised" should get a blink, much less the pained smirk Perez Hilton gave her and the ridiculous verbiage explosion by commentators of every stripe. Hers was hardly an iconoclastic, gasp-worthy notion that required fortitude to express, especially given it's the majority view of her fellow Californians, affirmed in Proposition 8.
In fact, the little hamsters in Carrie Prejean's lovely head were sprinting on their exercise wheel as she first fumbled to answer the question: "I think it's great that Americans can choose one or the other; Americans can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage." She thinks it's great that gays can get married! Perez should have been nodding like a bobble head at that point. But the hamsters stumbled, and she backtracked, "But you know what? In my country, in my family, I think that marriage should be between a man and a woman..." Not the most articulate reversal.
Under usual circumstances, the whole confusing answer might have gone the way of Miss South Carolina's in the 2007 Miss Teen America contest, when she responded hilariously to a question about students' geographic stupidity by suggesting some people, especially in underprivileged nations such as South Africa and "the Iraq" don't have maps. This entire flap is in our faces only because 21-year-old Miss Prejean is gorgeous, and because everyone's on the lookout for amusing muddles from beauty queens.
But I find this disturbing. The fact that those on both sides are so passionately defending or deriding Carrie Prejean suggests to me that the effort to keep marriage the way it's always been assumed is lost. Never again will man-woman marriage be the taken-for-granted norm, and anyone who supports it will be chastised and and assailed. Even the innocuous Carrie Prejean thought to post-script her "courageous" expression of opinion with "no offense to anybody out there."
How depressing. Marriage has already been re-defined, even though since 2004, 26 states passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as only a man and woman. Even though Barack Obama and Joe Biden repeated during their campaigns that they believe marriage should only be male-female. Even though the California court is likely to uphold the will of its constituents in Proposition 8.
Majorities of Americans can battle and argue, but even if you're a sparkly-lipped beauty queen in a rhinestone tiara, you've got to apologize if your bible, your tradition and your eyes all tell you that "marriage" combines opposite sexes. I'm so glad that after her gaffe and some glitzy photos, Donald Trump will let Miss California keep her crown. But it's not enough to offset the disheartening reality that proponents of traditional marriage have surrendered.