Miss USA Runner-up Invokes God and Gay Activist Sister

Miss USA runner-up Carrie Prejean would not change her gay marriage answer.

ByABC News
April 20, 2009, 1:35 PM

April 21, 2009— -- Days after Miss California delivered her controversial answer on gay marriage that she claims cost her the Miss USA crown, Carrie Prejean appears to be straddling the line in the debate, invoking a sister she claims is a "gay rights activist" while defending her "biblically correct" response.

"My sister is a second lieutenant in the Air Force and she is a gay rights activist," Prejean told "Access Hollywood" Monday, adding that her sister is not gay.

"She supports gay people, she supports gay marriage. My beliefs have nothing to do with my sister or my mom, or whatever," she told the entertainment program.

Her statement Monday seemed to contradict her comments Sunday night when she said her family believed marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Answering judge Perez Hilton's question about gay marriage, Prejean said:"I think it's great 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, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody there, but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be, between a man and a woman."

On the "Today Show" this morning, Prejean defended her answer.

"I knew at that moment after I answered the question, I knew, I was not going to win because of my answer, because I had spoken from my heart, from my beliefs and for my God," she said. "I wouldn't have answered it differently. The way I answered may have been offensive. With that question specifically, it's not about being politically correct. For me it was being biblically correct."

Prejean's reference to her sister's support for gay rights didn't seem to carry much weight with some same-sex marriage advocates.

"I think the punch line is she may be an activist, but she's straight," David Hauslaib, editorial director for Queerty.com told ABCNews.com. "Just because her sister has given Prejean clearance and her blessing, it doesn't mean a thing, because she's not a part of the community affected by the ban.

"While we are glad to have her sister on board with gay rights and civil rights, it does not excuse Miss California's response," Hauslaib added.

Apparently, Prejean's sister was not offended by Prejean's comments Sunday night.

"She was just in my hotel room and she said, 'Sis, I'm not offended by anything that you said. We have two different opinions and I love you because of it. I love you because you stood up for what was right, and it's not a matter of being gay or not gay. It's a matter of you competing for Miss USA and getting a question and answering it to the best of your ability."

Hauslaib questioned whether the world would be hearing from this sister, whose name has not been made public, anytime soon.

"I would be surprised if we see this sister," he said. "The sister is in the armed forces, and we are still in an environment where being pro-gay in the military is controversial. It could have ramifications for her career."

As for Prejean's career, it appears to be taking off despite losing the crown, a fact which has not escaped her.

"I wouldn't be here right now if I were Miss USA," she said on the "Today Show." "I know I have a purpose and I don't take back what I said. I was true to myself. I know now I can go out and speak to young people about standing up about what you believe in and never compromising yourself for anyone or anything, even if it's the crown for Miss USA."

Hauslaib agrees that losing was the best thing for Prejean and the pageant. If the judges had chosen her, he said, it "would have been a tacit endorsement of homophobic values."

And as the first loser, Prejean is the one America is talking about. "Everybody is going to know her name. If anybody is going to do well, it will be Carrie Prejean," Hauslaib said.

Meanwhile, the debate over gay marriage is once again front and center.