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Catholics Urge San Francisco Ban

March 29, 1999

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A Catholic group called for a boycott Monday of San Francisco as a convention site because of a planned Easter Sunday celebration featuring drag queens in nun’s habits.

In a half-page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights called on all Catholic organizations to hold conventions elsewhere unless the drag queens choose another day for their party.

``Let’s face it, we’re not going to bring San Francisco to its knees,″ league President William A. Donohue said. ``In the long run, we hope Catholics will awaken from their slumber and realize it’s late in the day if they want to fight for their rights.″

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a group of mostly gay men who dress in bizarre habits, elaborate make-up and wigs. The group says it was founded on Easter Sunday and plans to mark the date with a celebration as it always does.

Among the events planned for the street party in the Castro district are a ``Hunky Jesus″ contest and an Easter bonnet competition. The Sisters performed an ``exorcism″ during the pope’s visit in 1987 and have held a ``Condom Savior Mass.″

The Sisters raise money for AIDS and gay rights groups, but Donohue said he is not impressed with their charitable work.

``It’s like a group that’s anti-black or anti-Jewish or anti-gay contributing to fighting AIDS,″ he said in a telephone interview from the league’s New York headquarters.

In an editorial in Friday’s edition of Catholic San Francisco, the Archdiocese newspaper, the church called for ``calm and clear thinking″ to find a solution.

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