Perhaps you’ve seen the answer Miss California gave to the question about marriage. She stated that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The problem with the question was that it only had one “right” answer. It was the politically correct answer. I’ve never seen such backlash for someone answering by giving her honest opinion. Apparently it was an opinion held by many others, judging by the applause in the background. It is an incredibly divisive subject to be asked about in this venue – one designed for soundbites and not substantive reflection and nuance.
I’m not sure what to make of Perez Hilton. Obviously, he felt passionately about the topic. He seemed absolutely outraged by Miss California’s answer. Check out his comments about taking back his apology and calling her various derogatory names. Unbelievable. Her convictions apparently cost her the crown. To her credit, whether you agree with her opinion or not, she stood by her comments and by her convictions. I don’t think she took this tone, but it reminded me of the saying: If you don’t want the answer, don’t ask the question.
It raises for me the larger question of whether we are going to be able to coexist in our culture. We are a diverse and pluralistic society. By definition, we are going to disagree. It isn’t diversity if we all believe the same thing. I remember reading one author years ago refer to the idea that “diversity with substance offends” (or close to that). I remember thinking that it was as if we had to be reminded that diversity actually refers to differences (of opinion, beliefs, values, and so on). The reaction by Perez is a good illustration of how out of touch some segments of our society are with other segments of our society. I think I would have to say the same thing if Miss California acted surprised to have lost the crown over her answer. It raises the question: Can these segments coexist, even when one segment will be offended by the other segment on one topic and vice versa on another topic?