Church Wants To Prohibit Drag-Queen Act

SAN FRANCISCO - Catholic leaders are calling on city officials to revoke a permit for an Easter street party thrown by a theater troupe of habit-wearing drag queens known as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

The Sisters have a permit to close a section of a road in the largely gay Castro District to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

Allowing a group that "mocks the Catholic Church" to close a public street on Easter is comparable to "allowing a group of neo-Nazis to close a city street for a celebration on the Jewish feast of Passover," said Maurice Healy, a spokesman for San Francisco's Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

But one of the Sisters, known as MaryMaye Himm, said the party is on.

"We're really appalled at the insensitivity of comparing us to neo-Nazis, which totally invalidates the Jewish struggle against Nazis," Himm said this week. "The Catholic Church should be ashamed for promoting such absurdity. There are no pagan rituals. The goal is education and celebration."