More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Carrie Prejean: Beauty or Bryant?
Miss California, otherwise known as Carrie Prejean, is back in the spotlight.
Earlier the Miss USA contestant came under fire because of her on-stage response to a question about the right for same-sex couples to marry. This time around she's taking the personal and making it political.
Politico reported today the beauty queen is teaming up with the National Organization of Marriage to produce a second ad attacking marriage equality. The official announcement will be made tomorrow at a press conference being held at the National Press Club. The anti-gay group is reportedly doling out $1.5 million dollars for their television ads.
But that's not all. Before tomorrow's DC press conference, the losing Miss USA contestant made a pit stop in Lynchburg, Virgina to speak at Liberty University, an anti-gay college founded by the now deceased Rev. Jerry Falwell.
It sounds like Prejean may be trying to channel a little bit of Anita Bryant. The retired beauty queen won Miss Oklahoma in 1958 and was a second runner-up for Miss America in 1959. Bryant became notoriously known for her anti-gay organizing efforts across the country.
Bryant went on to become the Flordia Citrus Commission spokeswoman but later lost the gig due to a nationwide boycott of orange juice by the LGBT community and bad publicity for her anti-gay efforts.
Just like orange juice toting Bryant, Ms. Prejean is in the minority among her peers. It was just reported that former Miss California and former Miss USA winner Shanna Moakler will be appearing in an ad campaign protesting California's Proposition 8, the statewide initiative that overturned marriage for gay and lesbian couples in November 2008.
Former Miss California contestants Raquel Beezley and Tamiko Nash donned tiaras and appeared in the ads produced by NO H8. Brook Lee also shot for the ad campaign. Lee started her beauty queen career in 1997 as Miss. Hawaii and later went on to become Miss USA and Miss Universe.
Below you can see some historic media coverage of Anita Bryant and her anti-gay tirades: