The Power of Personal Beliefs

By | 2017-01-13T13:42:27+00:00 April 23rd, 2009|Categories: Respectful Workplace|Tags: |4 Comments

In the past, we’ve posed questions to our readers regarding current events and the respectful behaviors associated with them.

Here’s a sample:

The Cost of Barack Obama’s Inauguration: A Justified Work Related Expense or Overindulgent?

Multiple Generations Working Together

Do We Still Need a Black History Month?

This time we have a question about beliefs.

By now, we’ve all heard about the Miss California incident during the Miss USA pageant last weekend. Carrie Prejean’s response to a question on gay marriage, based on her personal beliefs, has sparked quite a controversy.

What did you think of her belief-based response? Did she answer respectfully?

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About the Author:

Melanie Sklarz
Melanie Sklarz was the the web content and social media coordinator as well as the lead blog writer for the website. She has a MA in Women’s Studies from the Ohio State University. For more information, visit


  1. Red Seven April 23, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Assuming that her answer was a sincere representation of her beliefs (and we have no reason to believe otherwise), it did not lack respect. Unfortunately, it did lack coherence and accuracy. As the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation stated, the biggest problem with Ms. Prejean’s statement was that it assumed that marriage equality in the US was already a reality. In truth, same-gender couples cannot marry in 46 states, and even where marriage is law, over 1,000 federal benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples do not apply to same-gender couples. Also, her response was clumsily worded; it’s likely that she was nervous, and that’s understandable. But if this answer was responsible for her losing the pageant, it was likely not because of its content, but because of its form.

  2. Candice April 23, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I thought Ms. Prejean’s answer was shocking only because it’s so unusual for someone to voice an opinion that’s likely to be unpopular with a lot of people hearing it. I respected her for not compromising her principles, even though I disagreed with her.

    I don’t know enough about the legalities of same sex vs opposite sex unions to give any kind of opinion, but I’d be interested to learn what are the 1,000 federal benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy but that homosexual couples are denied.

    Thank you.

  3. Dorothy Greenberger April 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    The quote in the article left out the beginning of her statement. At first she said something to the effect that it is a free country and people are free to make choices. Then she went on to state her opionion. I don’t think it lacked respect as much as she lacked political savvy. She should have held her opinion for a more apt audience and forum.

  4. Melanie Sklarz April 24, 2009 at 11:37 am

    @Red Thanks for the clarification of the facts. Good point about presentation.

    @Candice It was refreshing to hear her honesty and conviction, even if it was unpopular. I believe Red is referring to benefits, tax breaks and legal rights. Am I right, Red?

    @Dorothy You are correct about the omission that was part of her answer. An important omission too! Thanks

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