Multiple activists protested outside a church in Dallas that was hosting a “Drag Sunday” service to “bless” local drag queens.
The Cathedral of Hope—a church that claims to be LGBTQ-owned—hosted the event on Sunday to “celebrate and embrace our drag queens.” The church held the event in response to Senate Bill 12, a law prohibiting sexually explicit performances in the presence of minors. The law was set to go into effect September 1, but a U.S. district judge put a temporary restraining order on enforcing the measure.
According to the Dallas Express, around 40 protestors appeared outside the service to voice their opposition to the event.
“Put down your sex toys and pick up your Bible, folks!” one protester said through a megaphone.
As reported by Texas Scorecard, the church hosted multiple drag queens and groups, including the controversial Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The group is known to masquerade as nuns while mocking Christian symbols and traditions.
In one video, the scantily-clad group was seen dancing on a cross while one man, depicted as Jesus, was hanging from it.
Despite opposition from many, the church leaders at Cathedral of Hope stood by their decision to host the event, saying the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence share a positive message for the LGBTQ community “who have been excluded from churches.”
“[The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence] have been a force to help us understand that there is something still very deeply spiritual about us,” Reverend Neil G. Thomas told The Dallas Express. “Whilst we understand that their art form and expression may not be everybody’s taste, the truth is that they have also followed in the footsteps of many orders who have been benevolent and who have continued to be the most compassionate [and] understanding … working specifically [with] gay men during the AIDS pandemic.”
Thomas added that people should get to know the group and “appreciate the work they do.”
During the service, church leaders led members in reciting a pledge that they will “be allies to the drag community” and recognize drag queens’ “incredible contributions to our world.”
“There is nothing Godly or redeeming about this ‘church.’ From the subtle changes in song lyrics to the outright blasphemy, they are celebrating evil,” Brady Gray, president of Texas Family Project, told Texas Scorecard. “The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence exist to promote an anti-Christ agenda, and in welcoming and championing their cause, the Cathedral of Hope has joined this mission. Their stated goal for the day was to raise money for the ‘Drag Defense Fund,’ ‘to support drag queens who might encounter legal challenges due to the new law.’”