Dear Miss California: You’re Not a Bigot — You’re You



UPDATE: This piece has been picked up by The Fox Forum:

Story continues below.

Dear Miss California:

I will not scream at you, castigate you for your stupidity or label you “ignorant” for what you said at the Miss USA Pageant. After all, you didn’t win; that’s punishment enough. Plus you were already yelled at by Keith Lewis (co-director of the Miss California USA pageant), castigated for your stupidity by the gay community, and know in your heart how hurtful your response was to Perez Hilton’s provocative question on same-sex marriage.

Let me actually restate your comment precisely:

We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.

No offense taken, Carrie. You have the right to your opinion. I don’t have to love it. Nazis have a right to march in Skokie. I don’t have to love them, either. Atheists have a right not to believe in God. I don’t have to forfeit my faith. Americans can believe whatever they wish because they’re Americans. So it’s not about offending anyone. It’s about, in the end, whether there are more people out there who believe as you believe or who believe as I believe. It may take a day, a month, a year, a decade, a century or a millennium, but eventually the most number of believers on a topic is more or less declared the winner, and then society moves on. Like questions of law, many of our great social questions — heliocentrism, segregation, child labor, miscegenation, universal suffrage, anti-Semitism — eventually become a matter of stare decisis, one way or the other.

Now, I know by participating in a beauty pageant you’re perpetuating the long tradition of female subjugation and objectification, but please don’t be offended by a few housekeeping tips:

One: We do not live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage “or opposite marriage.” When all 50 states legalize same-sex marriage, then we will live in such a land. We live in a land in which some people believe same-sex couples should have all the legal rights afforded to opposite-sex couples. If and when you marry, you’ll have the right to attend to your husband on his deathbed. Last night, you told the world that you would deny same-sex couples that right, as well as so many other rights. To me, your beauty is therefore skin deep. But I know other people will think of you as a goddess. I refer you again, therefore, to my stare decisis theory.

Two: In terms of grammar, what is “opposite marriage?”

Three: Whether you’re Miss USA or the runner up, no one elected you to a public position. Just as conservatives don’t want the “liberal agenda” shoved down their throats, I don’t want anyone’s agenda shoved down mine. Just because Perez Hilton asked you a loaded political question doesn’t mean you’re asked to trigger the gun.

And so, Carrie, I leave you with this. It’s something that, as a Democrat, I am beginning more and more to believe. I have my set of social beliefs and you have yours. Sometimes we’ll mesh; sometimes we’ll smash. And you’re as apt to convince me that you’re correct as I am apt to convince you that I am correct. Perhaps, though, we agree on this:

We want the government out of our pocketbook.
We want the government out of our bedroom.

If we can agree on that, then I’ll assume what you said was — well, certainly your belief, of course, not a statement in reference to beauty. At least for me. For beauty, you see, is always in the eye of the beholder.


Leonard Jacobs