The Los Angeles Dodgers have chosen to disinvite the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to their upcoming Pride Night on June 16, after the Catholic League and Sen. Marco Rubio launched a campaign to get the organization disinvited.
The Dodgers’ press release read:
In the spirit of unity, the Los Angeles Dodgers are proud to host our 10th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night on June 16th. This event has become a meaningful tradition, highlighting not only the diversity and resilience within our fanbase, but also the impactful work of extraordinary community 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.
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 LGBTQ community and Pride Nights have been under attack over the last year, with athletes across sports rejecting some efforts to include the LGBTQ community.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) praised the move.
The Sisters don heavy makeup and nuns habits as they perform community outreach, most notably including their ministering to AIDS patients in the 1980s and 1990s when the Catholic Church would not. To be sure, their method is provocative, and some people do get uneasy with their garb.
The person behind the push to remove them has been Catholic League president Bill Donohue, who has for years expressed deeply homophobic and anti-trans positions. As noted by GLAAD, some of his comments over the years include saying that dying from AIDS is self-inflicted:
“The fact is that the artist who made the vile video died of self-inflicted wounds: he died of AIDS. The homosexual, David Wojnarowicz, hated the Catholic Church (had he lived by its teachings, he would not have self-destructed).”
Claimed same-sex marriage is “one of the most bizarre ideas in human history.”
Claimed “two men cannot get married. They cannot form a family. It’s a fiction,” and that gay people have been “disqualified” from forming a family “by nature and nature’s God.”
While the Sisters use some controversial methods to make their points, it has all been satire to draw attention to the deep and long-standing homophobic positions and policies of the Catholic church, as exemplified by Donohue.
Regardless, the Dodgers are full-speed-ahead with their Pride Night, featuring people like David Archuleta, Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss, as well as drag queens, out athletes and other community members.
The Dodgers Pride Night will take place June 16, when the team hosts the San Francisco Giants. It is annually the largest Pride Night in sports.