A reader writes:
Carrie Prejean has had to go through some really bad stuff she didn't deserve, just for inarticulately expressing a valid opinion in front of Perez Hilton.
But it's not a valid opinion Andrew and you know it. It's an opinion, yes, but valid? Come on now. Let's say the same thing had happened during a beauty pageant in say, 1965, and the contestant had said, essentially, I don't think whites and blacks should be able to be marry because that's just not how it should be and the Bible said and blah blah blah. Now say said contestant was vilified by liberals and the civil rights movement for expression, and in turn conservatives and libertarians and First Amendment hounds complained she was being attacked for her "valid" opinion.
Now flash forward almost 25 years. Do you think anyone short of KKK members, and maybe those people we all saw going to Palin rallies last fall would look back at that answer and think it was actually valid? Dated/a sign of the times, probably. Bigoted, maybe. An opinion, of course. But just because someone thinks something and has the god and Constitutional given right to say something (say anything!) does not make their opinion valid.
I'm sorry. But I think you know that. And I honestly think the reason you are hedging around this Carrie Prejean thing a bit is because her answer had a Christian bent, not because of free speech, or because you think we need to deal realistically with what people on the opposite side (you know, those who only want "opposite marriage") think or where they're coming from.
Another reader argues along similar lines:
Twenty years ago, I watched an interview with Anita Bryant on Larry King where she claimed that the gay community had destroyed her career. "The very same thing they accuse me of doing to them, they did to me," she said in a paraphrased burst of self-pity. It was apparently lost on her that she brought it on herself, that people will fight back and that her suffering was mild compared to the injury she inflicted on countless people who were already objects of hatred.
Perez Hilton (who I'd never heard of before this ridiculous beauty queen flap) strikes me as something of a jerk and a very bad "face" for gay marriage equality. But come on - the insults that Prejean has had to endure are mild compared to the vicious and hateful invective I've been subjected to for being gay my entire life. Hell, I get attacked and insulted more in five minutes on a chat room for being gay than Prejean has had to suffer since this entire affair began.
Millions of law-abiding, tax-paying citizens of California were stripped of their rights in a deeply insulting and grossly unfair vote fueled by bigotry, and the right wingers are upset because a beauty queen was treated a bit badly? Please.