In a flashback to last year's Miss California controversy, another California beauty queen has sparked protests for quoting a Biblical injunction against homosexuality to explain her view against gay "marriage," reports Kathleen Gilbert, LifeSiteNews.com.
The furor erupted when Lauren Ashley - the "Miss Beverly Hills" contestant seeking the title of Miss California USA - told the FOXnews.com blog Pop Tarts this week that she based her stance against same-sex "marriage" in the words of the Bible.
"The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman," said Ashley. "In Leviticus it says, 'If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.' The Bible is pretty black and white."
"I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone," she continued, "and he has the best for everyone ... If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that's a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life."
The story flashed across the Internet with headlines such as "Lauren Ashley: Gays Shall Be Put to Death" and "God Wants Gays Dead, Says Beauty Queen." Feministing.com characterized Ashley's quoting the Bible as "promot[ing] the abomination and death of gay people."
The City Council of Beverly Hills, and mayor Nancy Krasne, reacted on Wednesday by denouncing Ashley's statements and emphasizing that the beauty contestant, who resides in Pasadena, "does not represent Beverly Hills in any capacity." The Council said it has contacted officials with the Miss Universe Organization "to determine ways to formally prevent any beauty contestants claiming the title of Miss Beverly Hills in the future."
Keith Lewis, a K2 Productions stage director for the state pageant, told FOX News that each applicant is currently allowed to choose which city they wish to represent, and indicated that method would not change.
Lewis, who identifies as homosexual, also defended Ashley's right to her beliefs regarding same-sex "marriage."
"I believe in the rights of the individual and their personal beliefs, and I believe in tolerance and respect for all sides of the issues," Lewis said Wednesday. "I hope Beverly Hills exercises the same inclusion."
"I don't agree with her," he told the Los Angeles Times, "but I will fight to the death for her right to have her opinion."
The 23-year-old titleholder declined to respond to the city's press release, according to FOX News, but said she was "doing fine" amid the backlash.
In April 2009, Miss California Carrie Prejean sparked nationwide debate by defending traditional marriage when asked about the topic by one of the pageant judges, celebrity gossip Perez Hilton. Later, Hilton and Prejean independently insisted that the remark cost Prejean the Miss America title.
Beauty queen quotes Bible, accused of 'promoting death of gays'
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