LA Pride Pulls Out of Dodgers’ Pride Night After Team Rescinded Charity Drag Group Invite
LA Pride will not be participating in this year’s Los Angeles Dodgers Pride Night following the baseball team’s decision to disinvite the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a nonprofit charity made up of drag nuns, from the event after facing pressure from conservatives.
“As a longstanding partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, we are very disappointed in their decision to rescind their invitation to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to be honored at the 10th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night,” LA Pride said in a statement Thursday night. “As a result and in solidarity with our community, LA Pride will not be participating in this year’s Dodgers Pride Night event.”
“Pride is a fight for equality and inclusion for the entire LGBTQ+ community and we’re not going to stop now. Let’s make this year’s Pride celebration louder than ever,” LA Pride continued.
The decision from LA Pride comes after the Dodgers announced that they would be pulling the charity drag group “in an effort not to distract from the great benefits” of the Pride event after conservatives, including Sen. Marco Rubio, expressed their dislike for the group.
The organization, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, is an order of “queer and trans nuns” devoted to “community service, ministry, and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity, and spiritual enlightenment,” according to their self-description. The group has reclaimed religious garb to advocate for LGBTQ equality and expose the church, which demonized gay people during the AIDS epidemic.
The San Francisco chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence expressed their “deep offense and outrage” in a statement that condemned some of the rhetoric shared about the group.
“The Sisters are not anti-Catholic, but an organization based on love, acceptance, and celebrating human diversity,” the group wrote. “To be condemned by representatives of the Catholic Church is particularly ironic, given that organization’s long history of condoning and concealing the sexual abuse of children.”
“The struggle continues, but we look forward to a better, more inclusive world where human diversity is seen as an advantage, not something to fear,” they wrote.
Since the Dodgers’ announcement, the organization has faced severe backlash from LGBTQ groups. The Los Angeles LGBT Center removed itself from the event the night prior, saying they were “deeply disappointed” with the Dodgers, calling for the event to be canceled if the Sisters are not invited back.
“We call on the Dodgers to reconsider their decision, honor the Sisters, and bring the true spirit of Pride back to Dodgers Stadium,” read a statement from the Center’s CEO Joe Hollendoner. “If the decision is not reversed, we strongly encourage the Dodgers to cancel Pride Night.”
Earlier this week, Sen. Rubio sent a letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, arguing that by honoring “a group of gay and transgender drag performers that intentionally mocks and degrades Christians” with a “Community Hero Award,” the Dodgers were not “inclusive and welcoming to everyone,” as Manfred has said the league should strive to be.
He further accused the team of promoting a “woke far-left anti-Catholic agenda.” Conservative outlets such as the New York Post and Fox News also framed the Sisters as anti-Catholic activists — but since their founding, the group has raised well over a million dollars for nonprofits serving communities in need. It has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS activism and safe sex campaigns. Rubio took a victory lap after they were cut from the Dodgers’ Pride Night, tweeting, “For once, common sense prevailed in California.”
Politicians and LGBTQ advocates voiced their support for the Sisters and disapproval of the Dodgers’ decision through Thursday.
“Hey @Dodgers , this is shameful and you will not divide and separate our community. I hope we all boycott your ‘pride night’ and protest this cowardly decision,” Congressman Robert Garcia tweeted.
California state senator Scott Wiener, who is gay, said he was “really sad to see the Dodgers cave to pressure” in removing the group from the event. “The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence do amazing, life-saving work in the community,” Wiener wrote. “We expect more from our sports teams — even the Dodgers.”