Days after a controversial drag troupe was uninvited and then reinvited to a pride event at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, a California state senator is inviting a member of the troupe to be honored on the floor of the state Senate.
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, announced Tuesday the state’s highest legislative body will honor "Sister Roma" of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), a drag group that has been called anti-Christian and anti-Catholic due to its mockery of the priesthood and other religious iconography.
Weiner said he chose the troupe member because “we should celebrate leaders who serve their community even in the face of hate and abuse.”
He tweeted: “I nominated Sister Roma for this honor b/c we should celebrate leaders who serve their community even in the face of hate & abuse. "
Weiner, who serves as the chair of the California Senate's Housing Committee and formerly chaired the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, is known for previously sponsoring SB 145, a bill that removes the requirement for adults to register as a sex offender after committing illegal sex acts with minors within a 10-year age difference.
SPI made national headlines in mid-May after the Dodgers announced they would honor the group at a team pride event and later rescinded the invitation after criticism from conservative groups and lawmakers like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who questioned why the Dodgers were awarding “a group of gay and transgender drag performers that intentionally mocks and degrades Christians.”
But Weiner — who attended SPI’s annual Easter "Hunky Jesus" costume contest last year in San Francisco, which featured an egg hunt for children and a variety show featuring men in drag — attacked those who opposed SPI on religious grounds.
During a May 18 floor session in the Senate, Weiner hailed the drag troupe as “one of the most respected community organizations," and said the same “right-wing mob” that led a boycott of Bud Light over its use of a transgender model was responsible for the Dodgers’ initially backing off their invitation.
In 2016, after a Muslim shooter who swore allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group killed 49 people and wounded 50 others at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Weiner voiced his view that Christians pose just as much of a threat.
Immediately following the mass shooting, Weiner tweeted: “Let's be clear: Radical Islam doesn't have a monopoly on anti-#LGBT violence. Radical Christianity more than holds its own. #PulseNightclub.”
In response to the announcement about honoring SPI in Sacramento, California, state Sen. Melissa Menendez condemned the decision to honor SPI, which she labeled an “anti-Christian hate group.”
Menendez tweeted: “The California State Senate will honor the group of men who call themselves the sisters of perpetual indulgence on June 5th in a ceremony on the Senate floor. A blasphemous anti-Christian hate group like this should be condemned, not honored.”
Conservative advocacy groups, California Family Council (CFC) and The American Council (TAC), announced plans for a prayer vigil on June 5 outside the state Capitol in Sacramento.
“The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have been the center of much controversy over their mockery of Christian tradition and beliefs,” the groups wrote in a statement on the event’s page. “In a recent ‘celebration’ members of the group dressed as Jesus and performed strip-teases, pole dances, and sex-simulations.”
The lawmaker is known for previously sponsoring SB 145, a bill that removes the requirement for adults to register as a sex offender after committing certain sex acts with minors within a 10-year age difference.
Following its passage in 2020, Wiener's office insisted that SB 145 "does not legalize any kind of sex with a minor and does not change the potential sentence for having sex with an underage person.