I’m at the 4th Annual Values Voter Summit, the Focus on the Family-sponsored conference which is incredibly heavy on Republican stars — Pence, Huckabee, Cantor, McConnell, Bachmann. But the star of the morning session was Carrie Prejean, the former Miss California who lost the Miss America crown after a pageant judge asked her whether she supported gay marriage and she said no. Prejean arrived with the National Organization for Marriage, and was introduced by NOM’s Maggie Gallagher with a passionate speech about what Prejean had overcome.
“Carrie is going to obey, I think, the most frequently repeated command in the Bible,” said Gallagher. “Be not afraid. God bless you, Carrie.”
“Thank you for thousands of Americans who have believed in me, who have supported me, who have been in this fight with me,” said Prejean. “I cannot thank you enough.” Rightwingwatch has video, and there’s more after the jump.
There was huge applause, and then Prejean got to topic of her speech: Herself. Some highlights:
After much of this, Prejean finally told the story of the fateful pageant night. “In my head,” she said, “I could not believe that they were asking that question at Miss USA. I thought it was extremely inappropriate for that venue.” The crowd rose up with applause. “In my head, I was asking: ‘God, why are they asking this question?’”
From there, Prejean told the story of the backlash as the packed ballroom listened raptly.
“I don’t know why chose to attack my mother, my father, my 90-year old grandmother, on a daily basis,” said Prejean. “There was something wrong with turning on the TV and seeing people mock me for my faith.”
Prejean turned on the heat from there. “I am disgusted with the way some people can be so intolerant. It disgusts. But you know what? I am here today because I am still standing. I have not been defeated.”
The crowd was with her. “For the thousands and perhaps millions of Americans who have followed me, who have believed in me, and seen me as just a little beauty pageant girl who was supposed to say ‘world peace.’”
Prejean almost let her emotions get the better of her. “I may not have won the crown that night,” she said, then paused for four seconds, apparently choked up. “I know the Lord has such a bigger crown waiting for me.”