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2005-09-01 08:57:55

Teen Queen Claims Discrimination

Christian fundamentalists have remained staunchly opposed to liberal sexual orientation like gays and lesbians.

A confession from the reigning Miss Teen Bahamas that she is a lesbian has clouded the beauty pageant in a scandal.

"Hi I am Gari McDonald, the reigning Miss Teen Bahamas and yes, I am a lesbian," she told The Bahama Journal in a frank disclosure.

The teen queen, who also claimed that she was not given any of the prizes that she had been promised, also threatened a sexual discrimination lawsuit against the Miss Teen Bahamas Committee.

"Maybe there will be a formal lawsuit against the committee for what is happening in this given situation," Ms. McDonald said in a press interview at the Rainbow Alliance' Headquarters on Dowdeswell Street.

"[The committee] has placed my back against the wall and now I am at a point of making a decision. Yes, I have decided to file a lawsuit because I had to reach this point in order to get an answer and a response from them.

"I don't think that it is fair on my behalf because the pageant is two months away and still I have no answers to any of my questions."

The Journal contacted a member of the Miss Teen Bahamas organizing committee, but she refused to comment on the matter. She did disclose that a meeting was scheduled for Thursday and an official response was likely to come after that.

Christian fundamentalists have remained staunchly opposed to liberal sexual orientation like gays and lesbians. The hot button issue has died down in recent months following controversy over a gay cruise.

The Rainbow Coalition, an alliance that defends the rights of homosexuals, emerged as one of the main voices in that uproar.

Ms. McDonald alleged that the committee had given her the option of either gracefully stepping down as the reigning queen or deal with the embarrassment of being stripped of her crown because of her alternative life style.

She sought the support of the Rainbow Alliance in getting answers to what she considers questionable behaviour by members of the committee.

"I want to know what is my fate as Miss Teen Bahamas and why has the committee been avoiding me when I [hold] their title. I also want to know why haven't I been contacted about the international pageant that was held in July, in Chicago, that was one of my prizes. In fact, I want to know where are my prizes," she said.

"I have suffered emotionally because of this committee."

A representative of the Miss Teen Bahamas committee also denied that any formal decision had been made to strip Ms. McDonald of her crown.

Perez Clarke, The Bahama Journal

 
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