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Beverly Hills disowns Miss California contestant after beauty queen speaks out against same-sex marriage

Associated Press

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Less than a year after dethroned Miss California USA Carrie Prejean stirred up controversy with her remarks against gay marriage, a similar war of words is brewing in Beverly Hills.

Beverly Hills Mayor Nancy Krasne said Wednesday she is outraged over a Miss California USA contestant who is claiming to represent the city in the upcoming pageant and who spoke out against same-sex marriage in recent media interviews.

Krasne said in a statement that 23-year-old Lauren Ashley does not live in Beverly Hills or represent the city in any capacity. Krasne said she was shocked to see statements made by a beauty pageant contestant under the name of Beverly Hills, "which has a long history of tolerance and respect."

Ashley recently told Fox News and other media outlets that same-sex marriage goes against God and the Bible.

Keith Lewis, a K2 Productions stage director for the Miss California USA pageant, told the Los Angeles Times that contestants choose the area they represent and Ashley chose to compete as Miss Beverly Hills in November 2010.

A phone listing for Ashley could not be found.

Krasne said the city has contacted Miss California USA pageant officials to determine ways to formally prevent any beauty contestants from claiming the title of Miss Beverly Hills in the future.

Ashley's comments came just months after Prejean, the former Miss California USA 2009, reached a confidential settlement with pageant organizers on dueling lawsuits over her outspoken stance against gay marriage.

Prejean sued Miss California USA organizers in August for libel, slander and religious discrimination. She accused them of telling her to stop mentioning God even before her controversial remarks against gay marriage.

Prejean was fired in June after pageant officials accused her of missing events, an allegation she denied. The pageant later countersued Prejean.

Prejean said she was dethroned because she said during the Miss USA pageant that gays shouldn't be allowed to marry.

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