Tempest in a teapot: Really, is Miss California being punished for her honest, free speech?

Carrie Prejean and Amada Lepore

Amanda Lepore and Carrie Prejean

Miss CA Carrie Prejean responds to the question about gay marriage

Carrie Prejean in an ad for the National Organization for Marriage

Antonio Finns in the Sun-Sentinel lauds Miss California Carrie Prejean for “defend[ing] free speech rights just beautifully.” In the Miss America competition,  she showed her support for “opposite” marriage (which we understand as “straight marriage”) and not gay marriage.  She lost the pageant. And since then, the conversation keeps devolving: with claims that she was punished for her honest and free speech, and from the other corner, calls for removal of her Miss California title, and the emergence of photos (see left, with drag queen Amanda Lepore).

Some advice from sex advice columnist Dan Savage, who writes that taking her crown would:

… breathe fresh life into the Miss CA nonsense. … What will get lost as this is reported is the fact that Miss CA is getting the boot, if she gets the boot, for violating her contract with the Miss CA organization, a contract that forbids political campaigning (and posing topless). … If the Miss CA org was smart, they’d deny Carrie the satisfaction—and media/martyr boost she’s looking for—and let her limp through the rest of her “reign” unmolested.

As our brilliant design intern Sonia* pointed out today, on her last day – it seems like “free speech” is being used to muddle the issue. She’s a poor spokesperson for unfettered expression and the Miss America pageant is a weak platform for free speech. We don’t know why she lost the pageant, but we can imagine the political expediency of making Prejean into a victim.

* She illustrated the header for this blog.


About Blog of the National Coalition Against Censorship

Blogging Censorship is where National Coalition Against Censorship staff weigh in on the censorship issues on their minds.
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One Response to Tempest in a teapot: Really, is Miss California being punished for her honest, free speech?

  1. Brecholle says:

    Look there is a time and a place for everything. Miss California has the right to free speech. What she doesn’t have the right to do is use a beauty pagent to express her political views. It reminds me of the 3 African Americans who razed their right clenched fist for black power at the Olympics. Not cool at all. She is lucky enough, probably under the guise of suing the pagent, to keep her crown. When she starts to tell people she had a wardrobe malfunction in those pictures, she knows and I know she’s lying. What is it about conservatives. They think because they say it we’ll all believe it? Oh and I have the right to believe anything I wish. I believe she’s full of crap. Now we have to listen to her dirty up the airwaves with more crap. She’s milking it now. I’m done with her.

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