Self-titled Miss Beverly Hills Lauren Ashley is the latest beauty queen to make waves and RadarOnline.com caught up with the 23-year old to discuss her controversial anti-gay marriage comments and her thoughts on infamous conservative pageant princess Carrie Prejean.
“Am I anti-gay? No,” she told RadarOnline.com. “My message is that I love everyone. But the bible is pretty black and white about homosexuality [being] a sin. As a Christian, that’s what I believe.”
Ashley, who says she’s a virgin and brought her own bible with her to the interview, made sure to point out that despite her strict Christian beliefs, she has plenty of gay friends.
“A lot of my gay friends tell me, ‘that’s your belief, I still love you,’” she said. “They know how much I love them and they know I still believe in them.”
Beverly Hills Mayor Nancy Kranse recently expressed outrage that Ashley would associate the city of Beverly Hills with anti-gay sentiment and issued a statement saying that the Miss California USA hopeful does not speak for the city when she condemns gay marriage.
“Beverly Hills has a long history of tolerance and respect,” the mayor wrote, adding that she was: “Shocked to see statements made by a beauty pageant contestant under the name of Beverly Hills.”
Ashley was taken aback by the mayor’s comments.
“I want to know from Mayor Kranse…why she didn’t come to me personally first, one on one and ask me what I thought,” Ashley told RadarOnline.com, adding that she has never spoken to the city’s mayor.
With the media maelstrom made of Prejean’s anti-gay marriage comments last year at the Miss USA competition, one would think Ashley would be a bit intimidated to bring those same views to the stage again. But the 6-foot blonde beauty says she’s firm in her beliefs and thinks she and Prejean could hit it off if they ever get to meet.
“I haven’t met Carrie yet but I think we would have a lot to talk about,” she said. “She seems like a nice young lady and I don’t think what happened to her is going to affect the competition this year.”
One surprising supporter has been pageant director and openly gay man Keith Lewis, who says personal opinion should have no bearing on the pageant results.
“The Miss California USA system has always had a place for an individual’s thoughts and opinions when it comes to all sides of political issues,” he was quoted by Fox News as saying.
“I think he learned a lot last year from Carrie Prejean,” Ashley said. “He’s a wonderful guy. I love him.”