The Rev. Jerry Falwell, one of the fastest mouths in the religion business, has to make good a promise to pay $5,000 to a gay leader. Falwell had said he would make the payment if the man could produce a tape recording of an attack by Falwell on the Metropolitan Community Church in Sacramento, Calif. Falwell had denied that on a Sacramento television talk show last year he had attacked the gay church and offered the church leader, Jerry Sloan, $5,000 if he could produce the tape proving it. Sloan produced the tape and Sacramento Municipal Judge Michael Ullman yesterday ordered Falwell to cough up the five grand . . .

Sen. Paula Hawkins faces a tough reelection campaign next year against the yet unannounced but assumed candidate, Florida Gov. Robert Graham, and a group of her supporters got together at Bob Gray's Powerhouse offices in Georgetown last night at a $1,000-a-plate dinner hosted by Gray and Adm. Daniel Murphy, who is head of Gray & Co.'s international division. Secretary of Agriculture John Block showed up to sing his version of a familiar country song with the slightly altered message "Momma Don't Let Your Kids Grow Up to Be Senators" to an audience that included Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler and Sens. Thad Cochran, Orrin Hatch and Strom Thurmond . . .

That Norman Mailer has such a way with words. He introduced writer Joyce Carol Oates at a PEN Celebration lecture series in New York by saying her recent story in The New York Times Magazine about boxing was so good, "I said to myself, 'My God, I could have written this piece' " . . .