People are praising LA Pride after the group announced it would no longer participate in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ annual Pride Night celebration following the team’s decision to uninvite a famous drag group.
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced in a statement that it had disinvited a satirical LGBT+ group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence from the team's annual Pride Night after opposition from conservative Catholic groups.
“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 Dodgers said in the statement on Wednesday.
“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 Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence first appeared in San Francisco in 1979, when it began as a protest over local and LGBT+ issues in the form of three men wearing nun outfits. Since then, the organisation has grown into a number of loosely organised chapters around the world that engage in charitable and protest work.
The non-profit performance group, which notes on its website that it uses “humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit” was set to receive the team's Community Hero Award in a ceremony during the 10th annual event before the June 16 game against the San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers’ decision to uninvite the group from its annual Pride Night sparked widespread backlash, with many criticising the team for giving in to critics such as US Senator Marco Rubio, who said in a letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred that the sisters dress in “lewd imitation” of nuns.
“Do you believe that the Los Angeles Dodgers are being ‘inclusive and welcoming to everyone’ by giving an award to a group of gay and transgender drag performers that intentionally mocks and degrades Christians - and not only Christians, but nuns, who devote their lives to serving others?” the Florida Republican wrote.
On Thursday, LA Pride, which produces the city’s annual Pride parade, said in a statement it was “disappointed” in the Dodgers’ decision, and would no longer be participating in the team’s upcoming Pride Night event.
“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 ... as a result and in solidarity with our community, LA Pride will not be participating in this year’s Dodgers Pride Night event,” the organisation wrote. “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’s statement was met with praise and gratitude, with many applauding the organisation for “demonstrating true LGBTQ+ unity and pride”.
“Thank you for this response. Thank you for demonstrating true LGBTQ+ unity and pride,” one person wrote, while another said: “Thank you for showing what it really means to stand with the community.”
Someone else wrote: “This is the right decision. Thank you @LAPride! An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”
On Thursday, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence also responded to the rescinded invite, with the group clarifying that it isn’t anti-Catholic, before noting that its members were offended and outraged by the baseball team’s decision.
“The Dodgers capitulated in response to hateful and misleading information from people outside their community,” the group said.
LA Pride is not the only LGBTQ+ organisation to condemn the Dodgers’ decision, as the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the ACLU of Southern California both released statements Thursday criticising the team for rescinding the Sisters’ invitation.
The @DodgersFdn rescinded their invitation to recognise the @LADragnuns at next month’s Pride Night. In return, the Los Angeles LGBT Center is demanding the Dodgers cancel their Pride Night unless they rectify this error,” the Los Angeles LGBT Center tweeted.
The Independent has contacted LA Pride, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and the Los Angeles Dodgers for comment.
The AP contributed to this report.