Catholic parishes that allow cross-dressing homosexuals to play female saints in the Santa Cruz de Mayo procession were told by Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, they were deliberately insulting the Virgin Mary. The Santaxruzan procession is a major event in the Philippinesand most parishes organize elaborate processions. Over the years the processions have shifted from ones in which religious figures dominated into opportunities for beauty queens to display their bodies, and, in many cases, famous movie stars assume roles in the religious pageant.
The empowerment of gay groups has led some parishes to ignore the orders of the Archbishop and organize processions with cross-dressing gays portraying saints. Cardinal Rosales exploded and said: “The procession is religious. But what the parishes do is organize it as a parade of homosexual cross-dresers. That’s an insult to the Blessed Mother.” He threatened to ban the holding of Masses at any parish that disregards his warning. The Cardinal made clear he had nothing against gays as long as they kept their distance from religious processions.