Less than a year ago, a county commission in Missouri was so upset that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing gay marriage around the country that they lowered their flags to half mast. At the time, Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles called the ruling a “travesty.”
On June 18, the first openly gay Miss Missouri was crowned. Her name is Erin O’Flaherty and she jus so happens to be the first openly gay contestant to advance to Miss America ever.
Hey there! Erin here, officially signing in as Miss MO 2016. So excited to serve this amazing state 💕 pic.twitter.com/MRlYYYLqsC
— Miss Missouri (@MissAmericaMO) June 23, 2016
O’Flaherty, whose platform is suicide prevention, told the Riverfront Times, “I didn’t choose to be the first; I just am. Often you hear that our politics don’t always match our people and I think that’s really true. What I’m going to try to do this year is open up people’s eyes and minds a little bit.”
She also said that she knows it will be hard, since Missouri isn’t exactly known for being progressive.
We reached out to Skiles and the Dent County Commission to see how they feel about being represented by O’Flaherty at the Miss America pageant in September but there was no answer. We will try again and if we hear back, will certainly update the post.
[image via Twitter]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org