- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pro-marriage hurts

A lewd, gay celebrity blogger who sat as a judge for the Miss USA pageant says Miss California would have won the crown if she had supported his position on gay marriage during the question-and-answer portion of the contest.

Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr., who goes by the name Perez Hilton on the Internet, asked Carrie Prejean, “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”

She answered, “We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, I think 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 out there, but that’s how I was raised.”

Mr. Lavandeira grimaced while she was replying and later wrote utterly profane things about the contestant on his Web site, where he often writes crude items about public figures.

“She lost it because of that question,” Mr. Lavandeira told ABC News. “She was definitely the front-runner before that.”

Miss Prejean also thinks she would have won, instead of being placed as first runner-up, if she had answered differently.

“It did cost me my crown,” she said on TV’s “Access Hollywood.” “I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I said what I feel. I stated an opinion that was true to myself, and that’s all I can do. It is a very touchy subject, and he is a homosexual, and I see where he was coming from, and I see the audience would’ve wanted me to be more politically correct. But I was raised in a way that you can never compromise your beliefs and your opinions for anything.”

Williams vs. Obama

Juan Williams, senior correspondent for National Public Radio, has been waging war on the Obama administration for allowing Congress to kill vouchers for D.C. schoolchildren.

“This voucher system is a direct threat to the unions,” Mr. Williams, who is liberal on most issues, said in a recent appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” with Bret Baier. “And so I think everybody up on Capitol Hill who’s getting money for NEA or AFT, they should be called on the table. And they should ask them, ‘Where do you send your kids to school?’ ”

“You just want to scream,” Mr. Williams said. “And why [Education Secretary Arne] Duncan and [President] Obama aren’t in the forefront of education reform is an outrage. It’s an insult to the very base that voted for them.”

Mr. Williams followed these comments with an editorial posted on Fox News’ Web site, in which he accused Mr. Obama of “political gamesmanship” and said killing the program does not speak well for Mr. Obama “who once seemed primed to stand up for all children who want to learn, and especially minority children.”

Housing Zen

Some conservatives are questioning Mercedes Marquez, a woman President Obama has appointed to a prominent federal housing position, for paying a Zen Buddhist priest thousands of dollars from her post at the Los Angeles Housing Department.

Ms. Marquez was quoted by the Los Angeles Times in 2007 supporting payments to a priestess named Norma Wong totaling $18,819 for “management training that includes teaching breathing with sphincter control, learning ‘how to stand’ and playing with wooden sticks.”

Ms. Marquez was recently appointed assistant secretary for community planning and development at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Erick Erickson, founder of the conservative blog Redstate.com, was first to raise questions about the arrangement.

Dobbs on ‘100 days’

CNN firebrand Lou Dobbs will be airing his radio program from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday from the Palm Restaurant in Washington’s Dupont Circle district.

He’s slated to assess President Obama’s first 100 days with his guest, former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

• Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@ washingtontimes.com

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