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A heated, multimedia gay-marriage discussion spanning YouTube, Twitter and "The Hills" ensued after a Miss USA contestant answered a question about the topic, sparking debates on cable news and even a tweet from Britney Spears.
On YouTube, contestant Carrie Prejean's answer was the most-viewed and most-discussed clip Tuesday, with more than one million views and 10,000 comments. On Twitter, the term "Miss California" was second only to "Susan Boyle" in frequency.
Ms. Prejean, who represented California and was named first runner up to Ms. USA winner Kristen Dalton, said that she believed marriage should be between a man and a woman, an answer that visibly displeased judge and gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who fielded the question of whether gay marriage should be allowed in all states.
Mr. Hilton, who is gay, took to his blog and posted a video in which he says, "She gave the worst answer in pageant history. She lost because she's a dumb b—-, okay?"
He also said that if she won the pageant, he would've jumped on the stage and snatched the crown from her head. He later apologized for the name-calling but added, "We were/are just soooo angry, hurt, frustrated by her answer. Perez would love to take Miss California out for coffee and 'talk'!"
Mr. Hilton's outcry and subsequent interview on Larry King Live sparked a number of celebrity Twitter responses on the topic, most notably from Britney Spears, who tweeted: "Love is love! People should be able to do whatever makes them happy!" ("Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant," Perez responded on his blog.)
Heidi Montag, a star of the MTV reality show "The Hills," wrote in a string of multiple messages, "God says in the bible that we should love our neighbor and he created us all as equals. I know in my heart that gays and lesbians should have the same government rights that Spencer and I will when we get married. So, yes, this blonde Christian believes in gay marriage and I hope to one day go to YOUR wedding, Perez!!!"
But as for the non-blond, non-celebrity Twitterers, responses were varied — user fungirlkelly wrote: "I am very proud of Miss California for sticking to her values...this is still USA, land of the free...right?" But brittanygreene tweeted: "@perezhilton did a great job on Larry King. Just because you say "no offense" doesn't mean it's not offensive, Miss California."