Home>Articles>Exclusive: At What Point Do We Have a Discussion About Common Decency In Our Society?

Sister Roma, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

Exclusive: At What Point Do We Have a Discussion About Common Decency In Our Society?

Special to the Globe by California Assemblyman Devon Mathis

By Devon Mathis, June 10, 2023 10:00 am

There is a vast difference between supporting Gay Marriage/Marriage Equality and supporting lewd acts.

Some members of the LGBTQ+ community have been in an uproar after I and several of my colleagues walked off the California State Assembly floor in protest of the Legislature honoring anti-Catholic “drag queen” Sister Roma. Sadly, our actions are being misconstrued. What I believe we’re actually calling into question is what public decency ought to be, and at what point does civil society say, some activities are inappropriate for the general public. At what point have we as a civil society gone too far?

First, let me be clear, my discontent of this week’s events is not based on my feelings regarding Gay Marriage/Marriage Equality. Gay Marriage/Marriage Equality falls under Religious Freedom, so we must collectively show acceptance if we are to have a civil, pluralistic society. This is why I and others along with the Log Cabin Republicans have been working on our state party platform to address Marriage and Religious Freedom, to insure the Republican Party is being pluralistic and inclusive. Do you not think some of us are taking flack for that from all sides… you bet we are.

As I stated Monday, “Hatred and bigotry are not acceptable, if we truly want religious freedom, then respect must be mutual. What we’ve seen has not always been the case, from all sides. Government does not belong in our homes or our churches. As far as I’m concerned, what two consenting adults want to do behind closed doors is on them. So, for anybody to misconstrue this as a debate about whether Gay Marriage/Marriage Equality should be allowed is simply trying to stoke the fires of anger and civil unrest.

It seems the fire comes from the part where I said, “I’d prefer y’all get a room and keep the PDA (public displays of affection) away from my kids, but let’s be respectful on both sides.” Sadly, it seems people don’t care about keeping it respectful. I’ve already received the threats and been told by some to “let it blow over.” Which is why I believe it is vital that in order for us to have a civil society we must the conversation about common decency in our society.

Photo provided by Assemblyman Devon Mathis

Let’s see who actually reads to the end and who just takes quotes. Let’s see who still thinks I should simply shut up and cower. Very plainly, I didn’t get blown up twice in Iraq and survive 5 elections to sit silently, I do not believe we are in office to be silent.

So, what do I mean by “the general public” or “common decency?” Simply: We have ratings for TV and movies, parental controls on smart phones and other electronics. As a civil society we recognize that some content is inappropriate for younger people to watch on the screen – younger people who encompass a large part of the overall general public. This content is lewd, violent, and unseemly; it violates common decency.

The same principle, of course, applies to real life, or does it? Some real-world actions are inappropriate for the larger public. This isn’t to say unseemly actions should be banned. But it does mean that we can recognize Sister Roma’s pole-dance on Jesus and use of a Cross as a stripper poll as analogous to TV 17 or rated R content, is corrosive to the public discourse, and undermining basic standards of morality.

On Monday when I made the comment that two consenting adults can do whatever they want behind closed doors, I meant that I don’t care whether a couple is gay, straight, or something else; it doesn’t really matter. The status of the couple is irrelevant. I was concerned about celebrating lascivious public displays of affection – actions that we might see as “R” rated. I hope that most of us would agree that two individuals, regardless of binary status, with their tongues down each other’s throats, or straddling each other, should probably get a room –or at least get some privacy.

What does it say about how we value public decency when we don’t speak up? I know there are those out there who are going to say I’m not a pillar of excellence. I’m not perfect. None of us is perfect. I’m simply saying out loud what many of us are feeling, and sadly what too many are afraid to actually say, about this proliferation of public indecency in public life.

What do I mean by public indecency? What I’m referring to, and this again is why many of my Republican colleagues and I walked off the Assembly floor when Sister Roma was being highlighted, is the fact that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are known for acting in a manner that many sincerely religious people would consider blasphemy; a pole-dance on an effigy of Jesus is simply indecent, if not worse.

So, this goes back to my original question: What level of decency do we call the actions of the person who was honored on the California Assembly floor? They certainly aren’t G, PG, or PG 13. They were more inappropriate than that, and people of goodwill from different perspectives need to have a conversation, a civil discussion, where everyone’s feelings and perspectives are considered equally. We as a society need to stop being afraid of hurting each other’s feelings. We need to stop feeling that we must go into our own closets, whether they’re prayer closets, gun closets, or other closets. We must step up in maturity and have a civil discourse.

The conversation that is coming to a head is in regard to what is decent for the children of our society. What we are constantly seeing is a response to shocking social media content – it is a parental outcry and only out of concern for what children should see.

So, my fellow Citizens: where do we draw the line on public decency? Should it match movie ratings? Should we be having that discussion? I believe it is time.

You know where I stand. Once it starts getting into PG13, people need to seek some privacy – regardless of sexual or gender orientation. What truly matters is what we as a civil society are going to determine is decent for the children of our society.

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13 thoughts on “Exclusive: At What Point Do We Have a Discussion About Common Decency In Our Society?

  1. Those who thought they were being “nice” and “tolerant” in allowing the legalization of same-sex marriage are to blame for the public debauchery, danger to children, and outright hostile middle finger in the face of common decency we are now seeing in all its glory.

    Same-sex marriage legalization was rammed through in CA against the will of the people (who voted against it not once but TWICE) without sufficient discussion and without ANY debate, by radical leftist ACTIVISTS who gleefully and energetically used intimidation tactics, outright threats, and nauseatingly maudlin sound bites (“you can’t help who you love”) who maliciously targeted donors to Prop 8 that resulted in RUINED lives of business owners and the wreckage of innumerable careers and reputations of individuals. This was then capped off by Gavin Newsom’s infamous “whether you like it or not” threateningly aggressive remarks on the steps of S.F. City Hall —— one of his first acts of spitting on the will of CA voters in his way-too-long-and-counting political career.

    This laid the foundation for what has now “gone too far” in all-but-destroying respect for common decency. That’s because for radical gay activists (not rank-and-file gays), same-sex marriage, which should have been viewed by all as a societal and NOT an individual problem —- because legally and for all intents and purposes “gay rights” had already been won —— was a test for the radical activists; a test to see what else the public would be stupid and reckless enough to let the radical leftist destroyers get away with.

  2. If we have to ask what is decent for children then we are a lost devolved society.
    I for one do not want any type of sexual display in any public arena whether there the children are present or not!
    I do not want my public representatives celebrating those who perform public sexual acts, disrupt a church service or mock their church servants who actually perform charitable acts such as attending to the sick, poor and frail.
    This has been a long slow decent starting 6 decades back.
    The foundation for a strong society was the belief in God and the ten commandments. Today the 1A has been misconstrued to leave God out of every aspect of society and it took decency with it.
    The notion of separation of church in state was not meant to eliminate God’s morality it was to meant that the government would not choose one denomination over another as the state religion.
    I am sorry but until each individual lives by a higher moral standard, we will keep witnessing the debauchery in the town square.
    Thank You to Assembly member Mathis for taking a stand.

  3. Democrat. Sen. Wiener and almost all Democrats in the legislature have no concept of what common decency is? Wiener thinks wearing nothing but crotchless chaps while cruising Folsom Street looking for vulnerable youth is perfectly decent?

  4. Senate Democrats would never think of insulting Islam or other religions like they did by honoring that drag queen Sister Roma who has mocked and attacked Catholics and Christians as a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence? Senate Democrats are part of a evil satanic cult?

  5. California Assemblyman Devon Mathis seems to put a lot of emphasis on gay marriage/marriage equality. As an elderly man who is conservative and a homosexual from a different era, I don’t see the need for government to be involved in marriage regardless of sexual orientation. I think that government intervention in domestic relationships between consenting adults should be limited to enforcing contracts.

  6. They won’t try this on Muslims or black worshippers because they will fight back with ax handles.
    The creep show is assaulting a neutered population because they can.

  7. It seems that the picture shown here is the only one being circulated. I gather this was at an adult fair venue (possibly Folsom St Fair) where children are not present. Usually, these functions are in a cordoned area with security. Also, there is a donation to enter these events. Those donations are set up for the local charities. Sister Roma has been involved and helped establish charities during the early AIDS epidemic, and branches that served the community.

    1. I’m not a fan of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence drag queens who obnoxiously mock Catholics and Christians. Sister Roma’s pole-dance using a Cross as a stripper poll crossed the line. They don’t deserve to be given an award by Democrats in the legislature for their antics. I would never donate to any fund raising that they do because they’re morally bankrupt and I’m doubtful as to where the money will end up.

  8. Great article and long overdue…

    However, there is a spelling error that undermines the effectiveness of the article from the sentence & paragraph currently including “of a Cross as a stripper poll “

  9. Remove the influencers and leaders who are paid to push indecency into the public mind as well as those who fund them. This push isn’t organic or natural. Follow the money. Just like the migrant influx isn’t natural but is planned and paid for, this divisive LBGTQ+ Antiifa-like aggression is subsidized by the Elite, one of whom is George Soros and now his son Alex. Removing “Gender Pioneer” Scott Weiner from office would be a good and not-too-difficult start. Don’t have expectations about Democrats willing to discuss or debate. They have nothing but mechanical ideological sound-bytes in their brains. Their only technique is to shout shrilly, rant, and hate.

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