Miss California Carrie Prejan -- whose statements against gay marriage raised some eyebrows during the Miss USA pageant on Sunday, says she has "nothing against gay people."
"I've gotten over 500 Facebook friend requests, hundreds of messages from people I don’t know, saying how proud of me they are that I stood my ground," Prejan told FOX News. "That made me the real winner of the night."
The 21-year-old San Diego stunner also told FOX News she was happy. "This happened for a reason. By having to answer that question in front of a national audience, God was testing my character and faith. I'm glad I stayed true to myself."
Prejan -- who says many considered her the favorite to win the Miss USA competition -- said the curve ball thrown to her by contest judge Perez Hilton likely cost her the crown. "I knew he was controversial, and so was the question," she said. "Out of all the topics I studied up on, I dreaded that one, I prayed I would not be asked about gay marriage. If I had any other question, I know I would have won."
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Prejean finished second in the pageant. Miss North Carolina, Kristen Dalton, was crowned Miss USA. (Photo: AP Images)