In a flip on the reigning Miss California USA’s stance, last year’s title holder, Racquel Beezely, is featured in a photo campaign that features hundreds of portraits of people with their mouths duct-taped in an expression of protest against Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California in Nov. 2008.
The 22-year-old Barstow native appears in the photograph alongside former Miss USA beauty queens, all in tiaras, in an effort to send a message supporting gay marriage in light of the recent controversy surrounding this year’s Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean, and her on-stage response opposing gay marriage.
“I absolutely respect her for her opinion and for standing up for herself,” said Beezley — who crowned Prejean as the new state winner this year — but says if given the same question, she would have answered much differently.
“I have many friends and supporters in the gay community who were hurt by the comments,” she told the Barstow Desert Dispatch.
The photo campaign, which includes actors, musicians and other public figures, is on display at the Hamilton-Selway Fine Art gallery in West Hollywood.