After receiving backlash from Catholic leaders and conservative politicians, the Los Angeles Dodgers decided to call off its invitation to a group of drag nun performers for its LGBTQ+ Pride Night on June 16th.
LA Dodgers abandon plan to host drag group "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence" after Catholic backlashhttps://t.co/36S2b9qmVW
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) May 18, 2023
The California-based baseball team released a statement on Twitter on May 18th regarding their decision to withdraw the honoring of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), a drag group founded in 1979, during their annual pride night.
“This year, as part of a full night of programming, we invited a number of groups to join us. We are now aware that our inclusion of one group in particular - The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence - in this year’s pride night has been the source of some controversy,” the statement said.
“Given the strong feelings of people who have been offended by the sisters’ inclusion in our evening, and in an effort not to distract from the great benefits that we have seen over the years of Pride Night, we are deciding to remove them from this year’s group of honorees,” the statement added.
The Los Angeles Dodgers initially invited the drag group to join their pride night and honor them “for their countless hours of community service, ministry, and outreach to those on the edges, in addition to promoting human rights and respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment.”
However, this distinction given by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence did not sit well with many conservatives, particularly the Catholic League, CatholicVote, and Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who led a campaign against the move because they considered the group as “anti-Catholic.”
So disappointing to see the @Dodgers cave to the conservative pseudo-Christian homophobes. This weaponizing of religion is exactly what the @LADragnuns and @SFSisters have been protesting for decades. https://t.co/FhE4Fq0NY0
— Sister Roma (@SisterRoma) May 17, 2023
Marco Rubio said in his May 15th letter that the Sisters “has mocked and degraded Christians, and especially Catholics, since its founding on Easter Sunday in 1979.” Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, wrote a letter to the Major Baseball League (MLB), asking why the league would allow a baseball team to honor a drag group that he claims to have demeaned Catholics.
While many Catholic leaders and conservatives praised the decision of the Los Angeles Dodgers to disinvite the group, many LGBTQIA+ organizations and activists condemned it. Sister Roma, one of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence members, took to Instagram to air her sentiments on the issue.
“In the span of two hours, we went from celebrating the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (@ladragnuns) being the recipient of the Los Angeles Dodgers' HEROES AWARD on Pride Night to the award being rescinded and the Sisters being DISINVITED from participating.” Sister Roma said in her Instagram post.
“Why? Because the @dodgers caved to backlash from homophobic pseudo-Christian media outlets, far-right conservative bigots, and Marco Rubio,” she added, urging others to unite and defend their rights against the “red wave of queer and trans hate” that has characterized the South.
In response to the Dodgers’ decision, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the ACLU of Southern California announced that they would not participate in the baseball team’s pride night unless they reinvite the Sisters and even called on the team to cancel their pride night.
While the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have been notorious for their performances satirizing the Catholic Church and their teachings regarding homosexuality, they were also praised for their humanitarian efforts, which includes raising funds for advocacies like helping the marginalized, AIDS patients, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.