Jimena Espinoza, who was crowned Miss Peru on April 12 and will compete at Miss Universe 2014, says she respects all love, gay or straight.

Lawmakers are preparing to debate a bill which seeks to recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions.

(Related: Peruvians support gay rights, but reject unions.)

The 25-year-old Espinoza told Lima daily Diario Correo that her best friend is gay.

“I don't want to talk much about the issue, there is a political and religious interest,” Espinoza said. “ I respect the decision of each person, and long live love! Respect will help the country grow. Do I agree that the bill should be approved? No cannot say yes or no. I believe that love should be respected. My best friend is gay, they are creative, wonderful. Everyone, whether homosexual or heterosexual, is valued equally, there's no need for differences.”

Espinoza added that she's adamantly opposed to abortion.