Miss California: Pageant organizers tried to force me to apologize

The saga of the Miss USA pageant continues to get more and more ridiculous.  After organizer Donald Trump inexplicably invited Perez Hilton to judge the beauty contest and the blogger wound up using it as a PR stunt with a politically loaded question, Carrie Prejean has garnered more attention for her runner-up status than the winner got.  (Quick: without Googling, can you name her?)  Now, after Miss California has become a media darling by speaking her own mind, she reveals that the Miss California pageant organizers wanted her to remember her proper place — by renouncing her religious beliefs and apologizing:

Miss California Carrie Prejean, who became the bombshell of the Miss USA pageant by saying gay couples should not be allowed to marry, said Sunday that her state sponsors urged her to apologize afterward but she rejected the advice.

Prejean, 21, said officials from the Miss California USA pageant were worried that her comments would cost their contest financial backing and tried to prepare her for a string of post-pageant media interviews by discouraging her from discussing her religious beliefs.

“`You need to apologize to the gay community. You need to not talk about your faith. This has everything to do with you representing California and saving the brand,'” Prejean recalled being told. “I was representing California. I was representing the majority of people in California.”

You need to not talk about your faith.  For those who think of beauty pageants as anachronisms for young women in an era of liberation, doesn’t this speak volumes about the attitudes of the organizers?  Just shut up and look pretty, even if people are attacking you.

Let’s remember why Prejean has to talk about this at all.  The organizers of the national contest invited an outspoken gay-marriage advocate and allowed him to turn the pageant into a soapbox for his own purposes.  After Prejean gave her honest answer, choosing to have the confidence in her own faith and intellect, Hilton then went on a media tear, calling Prejean a “b***h” and saying he wished he could call her an even more vulgar term demeaning towards women.

And the beauty pageant organizers want her to shut up, smile, and just take it — and apologize for having an opinion.

What a breakthrough for women!