Wednesday, Aug. 18, 1999 | 5:04 a.m.
line THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CARSON CITY - The zany irreverence of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is just too much for Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn. He won't sign a proclamation for a gay pride event in Reno because the "Sisters" are participating.
Guinn spokesman Jack Finn said Wednesday the GOP governor also balked because organizers of the event, scheduled this weekend, announced he had signed the proclamation before he had finished reviewing it.
"This is not an anti-gay stance by the governor," Finn said. "Remember, he's the governor who signed Nevada's anti-discrimination law during the last session."
"He's completely in support of any groups celebrating their lifestyles. It's just a problem with this particular event."
Finn said Guinn was "nervous to begin with" because of the proclamation faux pas - "and then we got calls about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who have been known to put on performances that could be construed as very disrespectful of religious organizations."
The Sisters, mostly gay men from San Francisco, dress up as nuns and stage events such as a "hunky Jesus" contest and a mock church sevice in which condoms instead of communion wafers are passed out.
They adopt names such as Sister Ann R. Key, Dana Van Iquity and Camille Leon.
The Sisters also raise money for AIDS, gay rights groups and other charities.
Kendall Stagg, parade coordinator for the Reno Gay Pride event, said Guinn's refusal to sign the proclamation was surprising, since his group had been assured earlier the governor would sign.
Stagg added the Sisters are only one of several groups participating in the event - and Guinn "clearly does not understand the inherent goodness of the Sisters."
"The Sisters devote nearly all of their free time to public service. They are always out in the community, offering a helping hand," he said. "In addition, they have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for children and other charities nationwide."