June 17, 2008: Same-sex couple Ariel Owens (right) and his spouse Joseph Barham walk arm in arm after they were married at San Francisco City Hall.
[UPDATE] Beverly Hills released a statement Wednesday disavowing Miss California USA contestant Lauren Ashley, the self-described Miss Beverly Hills.
"Ms. Ashley resides in Pasadena and is currently a contestant for the Miss California USA title. She does not represent Beverly Hills in any capacity," according to the statement.
"The City of Beverly Hills strongly condemns Ms. Ashley's recent statements and has contacted pageant officials to determine ways to formally prevent any beauty contestants claiming the title of Miss Beverly Hills in the future. The City of Beverly Hills does not sponsor a beauty pageant and has no association with Miss California USA. As such, there should be no individual claiming the title of Miss Beverly Hills," according to the statement.
Beverly Hills Mayor Nancy Krasne noted the city's "long history of tolerance and respect."
[ORIGINAL STORY] This year's Miss California could be following in the footsteps of Carrie Prejean.
Miss Beverly Hills Lauren Ashley told the Fox News website Pop Tarts this week that God is pretty clear about killing homosexuals:
"The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Leviticus it says, 'If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.' The Bible is pretty black and white," Ashley told Pop Tarts.
"I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone. If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that's a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life."
Ashley will be competing for the Miss California crown in November.
Prejean, last year's brief titleholder, became the epicenter for the same-sex marriage debate during the Miss USA pageant when she told judge Perez Hilton that she believed "a marriage should be between a man and a woman."
Prejean eventually lost her title for skipping Miss California USA events, according to pageant organizers. Although Prejean insists it was because of her views on gay marriage.
Either way, she became the poster child for traditional marriage, putting a big fat target on her forehead for critics (read: the media discovered her sex tapes).
Ashley may be a little harder to burn. The 23-year-old says she is a virgin and never gets in touch with her inner bad girl.
"I don't drink alcohol and I don't smoke weed or cigarettes. My definition of partying is a little different," she told Fox News. "I feel like my body is the Temple of God and it's my temple so it's really good to treat it well. I also feel like sex was made for marriage. You really show your future husband or wife respect and you build a lot of trust before you get married. You don't have sex with other people, so that should definitely build trust, because you waited."
Ashley has yet to earn the crown, but she believes her views won't hurt her chances at the title.
"That isn't really the issue. I have a lot of friends that are gay, and ... I have a lot of friends who have different views, and we share our views together," she said. "There's no hate between me and anyone."
Ashley told Fox News that she admires Prejean.
"She is definitely a beautiful person and I love that she stood up for what she believes in. I think that's gorgeous," Ashley said.