More than two dozen state lawmakers from Los Angeles County are expressing disappointment with the L.A. Dodgers for uninviting an LGBTQ group from its 10th annual Pride Night event next month.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of self-described “queer and trans nuns,” were set to be honored with the team’s Community Hero Award.
Instead, they were removed from the June 16 event after the ballclub received backlash from conservatives, prompting the Los Angeles LGBT Center to also pull out of the event.
“While the L.A. Dodgers were preparing to host an event centered around inclusivity, they instead chose to exclude a well-known LGBTQ+ organization with a rich history of philanthropic and community engagement,” the Los Angeles County Delegation, which includes 39 members of the California State Senate and State Assembly, said in a statement Friday. “These are values that should be celebrated, not suppressed.”
Despite their philanthropic work, the Sisters’ use of Roman Catholic imagery in particular rankled some, including Catholic organizations and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida, who wrote a letter of complaint to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.
“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?” Rubio wrote.
In response to Rubio and others, the Dodgers decided to uninvite the group.
“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 Dodgers said in a statement.
In its decision to withdraw from Pride Night in solidarity with the Sisters, the L.A. LGBT Center asked the Dodgers to either reconsider its decision or cancel the event.
“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.’ We want the Dodgers ally ship to be consistent with our experience partnering with them over the past many years,” the Center said in a statement Thursday.
As of Friday, it was unknown if the Dodgers organization was considering either of those options.