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SF Archbishop Bans Drag Queens from Castro RC Church

Priester Boutique (photo: me_maya / flickr)

Leaving no stone unturned in his campaign to ‘reform’ the San Francisco Archdiocese from its wicked ways, the new Archbishop of San Francisco has issued instructions to the new pastor at the Roman Catholic Church in the Castro: no drag queens on premises.

This means that organizations that use the church’s fellowship hall for fundraisers need to seek new venues that will welcome their previous MCs, and soon:

A local gay recovery group will not be holding its annual fall fundraiser in the social hall of the Castro neighborhood’s Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church after officials said that no drag queens would be allowed.

For the past couple of years the Castro Country Club has held its event in the church’s social hall and had drag queens as entertainment.

MHR has always seemed incredibly tolerant and inclusive, located as it is in the heart of The City’s Castro neighborhood. Its congregation has walked a fine line, sometimes criticized for The Pope’s hateful language on homosexuality and condom use, as well as having to defend the Church in its pedophilia scandal. But the congregation is full of good gay citizens. If their drag queen friends and organizations that love them are excluded, what will congregants do? Must they choose between the the Pope they must obey, and the community they love? Because the new drag queen rule comes from the top:

Most Holy Redeemer’s new pastor, the Reverend Brian Costello, confirmed over telephone on Monday, August 6, that drag queen performers and emcees are no longer permitted to participate in events at the church.

Costello said that during a telephone conversation with a Castro Country Club representative, when the topic of drag queens came up, he told the person, “That is not going to work under the present circumstances.”

“I am the new pastor,” Costello added. “There is a new archbishop. The archdiocese told me straight out, ‘No drag queens.'”

The change of policy at Most Holy Redeemer was greeted with charges of discrimination, homophobia, and calls for compromise, even reconciliation.

Reconciliation is certainly going to be necessary for one group that frequents MHR. One wonders what those men in dresses employed at Most Holy Redeemer — as priests — will wear to work now, since drag isn’t permitted.

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