Equality California has invited Carrie Prejean, Miss California, to meet with gay couples and students, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

EQCA executive director Geoff Kors hopes that Prejean will get to know these people and learn first-hand the impact of her vocal opposition to marriage for gay people.

According to the San Francisco Bay Times:

Miss California probably doesn’t realize how hurtful her statements are, especially to LGBT youth,” Kors said in the statement. “But this is about something much bigger than the issue of marriage alone, and I have to believe that if she meets us, she will come to see our humanity, and at the very least, I hope she will understand that what she says as Miss California can either hurt people or bring them together.

The Bay Times reports that a former Miss California (2003), Nicole Lamarche, has released a lengthy statement about the controversy involving Prejean’s response to a question about gay marriage during the Miss USA pageant. Lamarche is married to fellow seminarian Jeremy Nickel and now serves as minister at Cotuit Federated Church in Cotuit, Massachusetts.

The truth is that it is difficult to know for sure the intentions of the biblical authors, but we do know something about God. Those of us who know God through Jesus of Nazareth know that he went to great lengths to express God’ love to people who were labeled as outcasts. He spent time with children, prostitutes, and lepers, all of whom were labeled as outside of the grasp of the Holy.

Lamarche indirectly criticized Prejean for using the Bible as a weapon against others.

Meanwhile, over at MSNBC.com, Helen Popkin asks, “Who died and made Perez Hilton official spokesperson of everything?”