HRC board member Stampp Corbin recounts his experience:

I was on an American Airlines flight from Dallas yesterday when a stunningly beautiful young woman was talking with her other and they took seats 7A and 7B directly in front of me. It is not often that someone stands out in terms of their looks that I stare at them, particularly a young woman, but this lady really is a looker. Suddenly, several people came up to her at her seat and started congratulating her for “sticking your ground,” “speaking the truth” and “exercising your right to free speech.” I realized it was Miss California.  Finally after a couple of minutes, I said “well, I don’t agree with what you said and I think it is discriminatory.” Her mother turned to me and said “I am glad that you spoke up, many people would have remained quiet.” That began a conversation between Miss California, her mother and me concerning same-sex marriage.

The highlights are the following:

Miss California’s first comment was “I believe what the president believes.” Simply put, I said presidents are wrong about many issues all the time. I am sure there are some issues you don’t agree with the President about.

Then Miss C. started attacking Perez Hilton for calling her a bi**h  and the c-word. Her mother said the comments were “against women.” Miss C. also said that Perez ranked her last for her performance in the interview portion and that is why she lost. I said Perez was out of line, his comments were unacceptable and he was being appropriately repudiated within our community. Interestingly, her mother said well Perez has “helped her in terms of her future options because without his action, she would just be a first runner up.”  Then we joked about everyone knowing Vanessa Williams but no one remembers Suzette Charles, the official Ms. America after the Williams controversy. The mom also said “they met with Donald Trump and she said that the producer who hired Perez should be fired.” The woman producer was in the room when the comment was made. The mom said “Donald did not say anything to her request, but did say the controversy was raising Miss California’s profile in the business.”

Back on topic, Miss California said she represented what the majority of Californians had voted in November and that no state had ever voted to have “gay” marriage. It was just the legislature, yes she said legislature, or state Supreme Court that granted gay marriage. So, her answer to the question was how the majority of Americans feel. I then told her that implying gay people “choose” to marry a member of the same sex could be considered by many to be offensive. She was shocked by that implication and did not know how the word “choice” has been used to malign the LGBT community. Her mother the chimed in and said “why did he ask such a political question, couldn’t he have asked her about lip gloss and eye makeup? She’s a beauty queen not a politician.” Miss California added “they would never have asked a question like that 15 years ago, I guess they expect us to be smart too.” I laughed and agreed.

Finally, I asked her what she though about the impending California Supreme Court decision concerning the issue. She and her mother both replied “what California Supreme Court decision?” Then we had a discussion about what the court was deciding. During which the mother kept telling me that her other daughter was a big supporter of gay marriage and was in the military. (do I hear tiny footsteps coming out of a nearby closet?) The mother also said, I live in Palm Springs and have many gay friends who are in long term relationships.

At the end of the flight Miss California asked whether she could call me and I said sure. I plan to Facebook her today.

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