Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton may have been crowned Miss USA 2009 on Sunday, but on Monday, it was Miss California Carrie Prejean's answer to a question about same-sex marriage from celebrity blogger and pageant judge Perez Hilton that was the night's biggest story.
During the show, Perez asked Carrie, "Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?"
"Well I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. Um, we live in a land that you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and in, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman," Carrie said to a mix of boos and applause. "No offense to anybody out there. But that's how I was raised and that's how I think that it should be between a man and a woman."
Carrie's answer to the hot button question cost her the crown – at least according to Perez.
"The way miss California answered her question lost her the crown, without a doubt!" Perez told Access Hollywood after the pageant. "Never before that I'm aware of has a contestant been booed at Miss USA."
And Perez wasn't the only one speaking out against Carrie's handling of the question.
"As co-executive director of Miss CA USA and one of the leaders of the Miss CA family, I am personally saddened and hurt that Miss CA USA 2009 believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman," Keith Lewis, Co-Executive Director of Miss California USA/Teen USA said in a statement released to PerezHilton.com. "Although I believe all religions should be able to ordain what unions they see fit, I do not believe our government should be able to discriminate against anyone. Religious beliefs have no place in politics in the Miss CA family."
A rep for Shanna Moakler, who inherited the Miss USA title in 1995 when Miss USA Chelsi Smith was crowned Miss Universe, told Perez that she "supports Keith's views 100%."
On Monday morning, Miss California talked to Billy Bush for "The Billy Bush Show" and Access Hollywood. To listen to Billy's interview where Carrie revealed that a member of her family is a gay rights activist, CLICK HERE!
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