April 29, 2009 — -- More than a week after Miss California Carrie Prejean spoke out against "opposite marriage" at the 2009 Miss USA Pageant, her "gay activist" sister is coming to her defense and lashing out at Perez Hilton, judge who questioned Prejean about gay marriage during the competition and subsequently bashed her on his blog.
"Considering what she was going through, the circumstances of being put on the spot, given such a short amount of time to think and respond … she said what she felt in her heart would be the best answer," Christina Prejean told ABCNews.com. "She and I have talked about this subject; we both respect each other's views. I support civil unions that would give same sex couples equal, legal rights and privileges."
At the pageant, Prejean seemed initially tongue-tied answering to Hilton's question before saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman, drawing a mixed reaction from the audience and a look of thinly veiled disgust from Hilton.
In the days afterward, Prejean attempted to quell criticism of her conservative marriage views by saying that her sister is a gay activist.
"My sister is a second lieutenant in the Air Force and she is a gay rights activist," Prejean told "Access Hollywood" last week, adding that Christina 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."
Christina Prejean, 22, admitted she was surprised to hear the beauty queen, 21, call her a gay activist.
"I have never even given myself that title. I was kind of surprised that she mentioned it, but I think she wanted to get the point across that our family is tolerant," Christina Prejean said, adding that she only recently got involved in gay rights activism.
"A couple weeks back, I attended a public forum in Idaho about protecting the LGBT community against discrimination," she continued. "That was the very first thing I attended, and I told her about it on the night of the pageant, after she said she felt bad that people might be offended by her response. … But that's obviously such a hot topic that either way, someone was going to be offended."