Politically conservative gay columnist Andrew Sullivan recently decried San Francisco's Hunky Jesus Contest, an annual costume competition held every Easter Sunday in Dolores Park. The event, put on by Catholic satire/fundraising group Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, showcases a bevy of beauties parodying Jesus Christ in varying forms of dress and sensuality. Sullivan writes:
I am a First Amendment absolutist, as readers know. And I'm also a solid defender of the right to blasphemy. But there are smart ways of doing this, ways that illuminate broader issues - think of 'The Book Of Mormon' or any South Park episode. And then there are smug, cheap and unfunny shots at the faith of other people. Really, this makes me feel like Bill Donohue.
You want to grow some balls? Hold a Hunky Mohammed Contest on Ramadan. And, by the way, thanks for doing your bit to empower every religious right prejudice about gays.
Which? He does have a point. However, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and a handful of Dolores Park gays hardly represent the U.S. LGBT community as a whole. Really, gay people can't always be in PR mode for the ultra-right.
SFist asked the Sisters for comment. We'll update as soon as we hear back from them.
UPDATE: Sullivan responds to his anti-Sisters sentiment. In part of a lengthy response, he writes:
Again, I would fight to the death, as they say, to defend the free expression rights of these smug liberal bigots. But they remain smug, liberal bigots. Let's see what their attitude would be if a religious right group did a public performance art mocking gay marriages in the Castro - with graphic sex acts meant to ridicule gays. I'm sure they'd try to prosecute them for hate speech. Let's say it took place on gay pride. Somehow I think offense would be taken and the demonstrators labeled immediately as bigots.
If they're bigots, why aren't these Sisters Of Perpetual Self-Indulgence?
So, there you have it. Also, insofar as a public performance art mocking gay marriages in the Castro goes, it's been done. Ad nauseum, too. Say what you will about the alleged "smug, liberal bigots" littering the Bay Area, they're excellent at getting as good as the give. And how.