Miss California Invited to Meet with Students, Families Headed by Same-Sex Couples
April 22, 2009 by Bryan
Equality California (EQCA) has invited Miss California Carrie Prejean to meet with leaders from her home state, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations, LGBT students and a family headed by a same-sex couple to start a dialogue about who LGBT people are and the harm that is caused by denying LGBT community members equality.
Geoff Kors, executive director of EQCA, was prompted to extend the invitation to Miss California after learning about another suicide linked to anti-gay bullying in order to discuss how sentiments such as those expressed by Miss California can contribute to a climate that leads to harassment and bullying of LGBT youth. Jaheem Herrera, an 11-year-old Georgia student, hung himself April 16th after enduring daily harassment and students calling him “gay and a snitch.” This is the second suicide by a middle school or elementary school student in the last two weeks that has been linked to bullying, and the fourth this year.
“Miss California probably doesn’t realize how hurtful her statements are, especially to LGBT youth,” Kors said. “But this is about something much bigger than the issue of marriage alone, and I have to believe that if she meets us, she will come to see our humanity, and at the very least, I hope she will understand that what she says as Miss California can either hurt people or bring them together.”
During the Miss USA pageant Sunday, Miss California responded to a question from judge Perez Hilton about her stance on legalizing marriage for same-sex couples, saying “You know what, in my country, and 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.”