Final Judgment: Miss USA

Perez Hilton's fellow Miss USA judge Alicia Jacobs took to her blog in response to Miss California's now-infamous marriage-equality flub -- and received a flood of hate mail and death threats. Now the gay rights advocate is speaking out.

BY Ross von Metzke

April 22 2009 12:00 AM ET

ALICIA JACOBS 02 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

You took to your blog after the Miss USA event to talk about
your feelings on marriage equality and about how the entire
situation was handled. Why was it important for you to speak
out?

Well, it's a very important issue to me. First of all, I will
tell you, that I am a hard-core, registered Republican -- and
proud to be one -- but gay marriage and gay rights are
paramount to me. I have so many important people in my life who
are gay. I've lived some of their heartache and I've lived some
of their victories and I'm passionate about it. I feel like
it's appropriate for me now to speak out about it because
there's a message there.

That blog has since been taken down. How did that all go
down?

I got a death threat -- maybe more than one -- and it was a
very uncomfortable thing for me. It was the first time in my
life that I've had to deal with something like that, so I
thought, for the time being, I would take it down. I will put
it back up. It may be in a different form -- I'm getting advice
on that right now from my station management, who, by the way,
they've been unbelievably supportive of this entire thing.

Oprah actually told Ellen DeGeneres that she'd never
received more hate mail than she did when she guest-starred on
Ellen's coming-out episode. This is one of those
topics people seem to get so fired up about. Why do you think
that is? Why do you think someone would care enough to threaten
your life?

I've been asking myself that question for the past several
hours. Maybe I live in a bubble. I'm beginning to think perhaps
I have been. Some of the most significant people in my life are
gay. I think,
My God. It's gotta be the hardest thing in the world to be
gay.

I can't believe the anger and the hatred that obviously my
friends are dealing with on a daily basis -- and, to their
credit, they rise above it every day and live amazing,
successful lives. I had respect for them before, but it has now
risen to a level I can't articulate. I'm not sure I could live
my life and be successful in my occupation if I had to deal
with that every day. It would be almost paralyzing to me.

Other contestants have now come out with their feelings on
marriage equality -- some supporting it, some saying it should
be left up to politicians. Do you think there is a way Miss
California could have answered that question where she could
have saved herself? Or the minute she went there, for you, was
it over?

I don't think that question lost the pageant for her, because
she was never my winner to begin with. Going into the top five,
I believe, she was third in entertainment and second in evening
gown. Of course, nobody knows what would have happened at the
end, but I don't think she was destined to win. Could she have
answered that question better? Absolutely. My big thing was not
the content of her answer, it was how she approached it. First
of all, she didn't even answer the question -- she took it upon
herself to raise her personal beliefs, which she didn't
necessarily need to do to answer the question correctly. Miss
USA is a spokesperson and she has to represent all people. She
has to be a spokesperson for breast cancer, for ovarian cancer.
Most importantly, she has to have social grace and, in that
moment, she did not.

Tags: television

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