I do not discount the possibility that a beauty pageant contestant can be informed on any given topic. I discount the possibility that a beauty pageant is a forum capable of generating an interesting discussion of any particular topic. What Miss California has to say about same-sex marriage is rather irrelevant to the debate.
That said, I find the outcry amusing. From FOX News:
Miss California Carrie Prejean, blasted by a Miss USA contest judge because she opposes gay marriage, may have grounds for a discrimination lawsuit herself — against the Miss USA pageant, a legal analyst says.
“If she really feels some tremendous stress as a result of losing — and I’m certain she’s probably devastated from what happened to her — she can articulate a viable claim for monetary compensation for psychic injury,” said FOX News legal analyst Mercedes Colwin.
I’m not an attorney, but I’m certain this is preposterous reasoning. Rule number one: Never take legal advice from a cable television news program. Even if I didn’t understand this rule, reading the article tells me enough. Nowhere does the (unnamed) reporter quote Miss Prejean’s response to Perez Hilton’s question. If you haven’t heard it, she said:
PEREZ: Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?
CARRIE: I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anyone out there but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be between a man and a woman.
Perez Hilton gave her a zero for her answer. If I thought a judge’s vote on an answer to a question in the Miss USA pageant could justify a lawsuit, this still isn’t that. She didn’t answer the question because she said it’s great that we can choose to marry a partner of either gender but we shouldn’t be able to choose any marriage other than one man and one woman. The possibly-accidental inclusion of great generated her predicament, not her dismissal of a civil right because she was raised to believe her opinion is as valid as logic.
Link via Timothy Lee’s Twitter feed.
Now for a snarky answer: She can’t articulate a viable claim because she couldn’t articulate a viable answer.