California Family Council (CFC) joined The American Council (TAC) and the California Catholic Conference (CCC) last Monday, June 5th, to host a Christian Prayer Vigil on the west steps of the California State Capitol. The event was held in response to ceremonies on the Senate and Assembly floors honoring a controversial and offensive group of men who dress in drag as nuns. A few hundred people gathered to join the prayer vigil in protest of those ceremonies.
Leaders of the Evangelical and Catholic communities joined the three organizations to unite in prayer and raise their voices in hymns of the faith as the California state legislature honored an anti-Catholic drag group called the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” (SPI). The group uses religious themes and imagery and sexualized performances to advocate for LGBTQ+ causes. They mock Catholic beliefs with the motto “Go and sin some more” and even blasphemously use the cross for poll dances.
The legislature honored one member of the group, Michael Williams, who goes by the name “Sister Roma.” He has been part of the drag group since 1987 and is recognized as an advocate, filmmaker in the adult industry, and a prominent member of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” Williams, along with other notable LGBTQ+ personalities, received recognition and was extended an invitation by state Senator Scott Wiener, who is known for his LGBTQ+ activism.
All eight Republicans in the chamber issued a public letter asking the Senate leader to withdraw Sister Roma’s invitation. “The California Senate … should not be associated with disrespect or hatred towards those with differing religious ideologies,” the letter stated. But Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins denied their request.
The “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” have recently sparked national controversy after the Dodgers announced their intent to honor the group during their annual “Pride Night” festivities. The MLB team initially withdrew the invitation after protests from religious and political leaders, but the Dodgers reversed course and re-invited the SPI after pro-LGBTQ legislators and activists strongly objected.
The California state legislature’s decision to honor the group on Monday led several lawmakers to walk off the Assembly and Senate floors.
Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher joined the Prayer Vigil on the Capitol steps and stated, “This isn’t partisan, we had to walk out today in conscience because we could not stand for religious bigotry anywhere,” Gallagher told the crowd. “This is an opportunity for us to show how Christians love. Because there should be a difference in how we respond and we know that because our heavenly Father showed us the way. When they curse you, we bless. When they slander you, we entreat, be reconciled to God. Go to the one Father that we know can transform our hearts. We are part of the ministry of reconciliation as it says in Corinthians and we, all of us, gathered here today as we pray we can be part of that. I want to pray for the Sisters of Perteputal Endulgence. I want to pray that they be reconciled because the truth of Jesus Christ is for all.”
Assemblyman Tom Lackey, who also joined the prayer vigil, expressed his disgust with the legislature’s decision in a video post on Twitter, in which he shows images of performances by the anti-Catholic group. “These vile images represent disintegration tactics by malevolent actors. Faith leaders have worked to build bridges with the LGTBQIA+ community and this undoes progress,” he says.
The event ended with a group of nuns, priests, monks and pastors leading the crowd in the “Lord’s Prayer.”
The lawmakers who engaged in the ceremonies honoring SPI on Monday should be ashamed for sowing division and demonstrating hostility toward people of faith. At the very least, the legislature should stand for religious tolerance. Instead, they are endorsing hatred and mockery.
However, the success of the Christian Prayer Vigil shows that there are many Bible-believing Californians and several California lawmakers willing to come together and take a stand when God is blasphemed and people of faith are disrespected. In times of religious persecution, prayer is always the greatest weapon.
The Sisters of Perpetual Christian Mockery should not be celebrated on the Floor!— Assemblyman Lackey 👮♂️ (@TomLackey36) June 5, 2023
These vile images represent disintegration tactics by malevolent actors.
Faith leaders have worked to build bridges with the LGTBQIA+ community and this undoes progress. pic.twitter.com/unsuORHtiH