Two California LGBTQ+ groups on Thursday dropped out of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ annual Pride Night event due to the team disinviting The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a charity whose members dress in drag.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center and LA Pride both said they were backing out after the Dodgers tweeted that the charity’s inclusion had been “the source of some controversy,” LA’s KABC-TV reported.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, which was set to receive a Community Hero Award at the team’s June 16 event, has often faced criticism from Catholic groups.
According to its website, the charity is composed of “queer and trans nuns” who use “humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit.”
Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Joe Hollendoner issued a statement calling on the Dodgers to reconsider and “bring the true spirit of Pride back to Dodgers Stadium.”
“If the decision is not reversed, we strongly encourage the Dodgers to cancel Pride Night,” Hollendoner wrote.
“Any organization that turns its back on LGBTQ+ people at this damning and dangerous inflection point in our nation’s history should not be hoisting a rainbow flag or hosting a ‘Pride Night.’”
LA Pride, in a separate statement, wrote that it was “very disappointed” in the Dodgers’ choice.
For its part, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence has blamed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for the move, according to NBC Los Angeles.
In a Monday letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Rubio had said it would be “an outrage and a tragedy” for the MLB to give an award to the charity, arguing that this would promote “modern, secular, and indeed anti-religious ‘values’” over faith.
Other religious organizations that had criticized the Dodgers included the Catholic League and CatholicVote.
“I was shocked that the Dodgers caved so quickly,” Sister Bearonce Knows, a member of the drag charity, told KABC-TV of the rescinded invite.
“I grew up Catholic, and I can’t understand any of the pushback,” Knows added. “We’re not a religious organization. We’re also not an anti-religious organization. What we are ‘anti-’ is people that use their religion as a weapon against our community.”