Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin calls the feeding frenzy surrounding Miss California Carrie Prejean “despicable” and says she can relate to her as a "liberal target."
"The liberal onslaught of malicious attacks against Carrie Prejean for expressing her opinion is despicable," Palin said in a statement released to the media Wednesday.
Prejean has since been a target of the liberal media for declaring to contest judge and gay blogger Perez Hilton her opposition to same-sex marriage.
"What I find so remarkable is that these politically-motivated attacks fail to show that what Carrie and I believe is also what President Obama and Secretary Clinton believe –– that marriage is between a man and a woman," Palin says.
"Our Constitution protects us all –– not just those who agree with the far left," she adds.
The former vice presidential candidate and one-time Miss Alaska beauty pageant contestant herself says she personally spoke to Prejean "soon after the attacks started" and respects Prejean “for standing strong and staying true to her herself,” the Washington Post reports.
"I can relate as a liberal target myself," Palin says in defense of Prejean, who finished second in last month’s Miss USA competition. Prejean went public shortly afterward with her belief that she lost the contest because of her conviction that marriage should be between a man and a woman. She has since received criticism for failing to disclose topless photographs that surfaced on the Internet to Miss California pageant officials.
Palin, however, says she is behind Prejean “for not letting those who disagree with her deny her protection under the nation's First Amendment Rights.”
In her statement, Palin "applauds" Donald Trump for not stripping Prejean of her Miss California crown after racy photos of her were released to the media.
"I respect Carrie for standing strong and staying true to herself, and for not letting those who disagree with her deny her protection under the nation's First Amendment Rights," Palin says.
Co-director of Miss California Shanna Moakler, a former Miss USA, resigned Wednesday after Trump failed to fire Prejean, saying she "no longer believes" in the Miss Universe Organization, Politico reports.
“I cannot with a clear conscience move forward supporting and promoting the Miss Universe Organization when I no longer believe in it, or the contracts I signed committing myself as a youth,” Moakler tells Usmagazine.com.
“I want to be a role model for young women with high hopes of pageantry, but now feel it more important to be a role model for my children,” Moakler says.
"This is a very big issue," Trump told reporters Tuesday at a press conference, CNN reports. "This is an issue that will probably be debated for a very long time."
In 2006, Trump let Miss USA beauty queen Tara Conner keep her crown after she confessed to underage drinking and inappropriate behavior. However, in 2007, Trump stripped former Miss Nevada Katie Rees of her crown for inappropriate photos.
"Semi-nude photos are semi-nude photos," Rees tells E! Online.
“I don’t know why I am the only one who was punished for their behavior. I was only 19 when those photos were taken of me, and it was me in my personal life, far before I was crowned Miss Nevada. Carrie actually posed for these professional semi-nude photos. I think that’s worse.”
Appearing at a press conference Wednesday, Prejean says she’s grown from the experience.
"I’m a strong woman and because of that, I am now ready to move forward and be the best Miss California that I can be."
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