The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence Were To Be Honored At Dodger Pride Night
In the wake of the Los Angeles Dodgers rescinding their invitation to The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence (TSPI) yesterday, the team received sharp condemnation from the Los Angeles and greater California community. This decision occurred only two days after Florida Senator Marco Rubio sent a letter to Major League Baseball complaining about the group’s inclusion in the ceremony where they would have received an award for their service to the community and then tweeted about it. His accusation, leveled from 2,577 miles away was joined the next day by a similar accusation from a group called The Catholic League which has headquarters in New York City and a group called CatholicVote.
The Dodger’s statement said, “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 ACLU responded via Twitter to say that they will not participate in the event and explain their reasoning, “The Dodgers, which broke the color line in baseball in 1947 by signing Jackie Robinson, were champions of inclusion. Seventy-six years later, they take a giant step backward banning a long-standing drag charity. In unity with @SFSisters, we will not participate in Pride Night.”
The Los Angeles LGBT Center issued a statement via their website and has dropped out of the Dodgers Pride Night. The statement said, “We are deeply disappointed that the Dodgers, an organizational partner that has made significant strides towards dismantling anti-LGBTQ+ bias in sports and a long-standing supporter of our mission, has decided to revoke their invitation to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at their upcoming Pride Night…We call on the Dodgers to reconsider their decision, honor the Sisters, and bring the true spirit of Pride back to Dodgers Stadium. If the decision is not reversed, we strongly encourage the Dodgers to cancel Pride Night.”
LA Pride, a partner in The Dodger’s Pride Night made the decision to withdraw from the Dodgers Pride event and issued a statement this afternoon which we received via their press representative which stated, “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. 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.” The statement was also posted to their Instagram page.
Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur (D-West Hollywood/Santa Monica) issued the following statement this afternoon via press release and Twitter: “I am appalled by the decision of the Los Angeles Dodgers to disinvite The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence from their so-called Pride Night. Many companies and organizations claim to be allies of the LGBTQ+ community, but there is a difference between being a true friend willing to stand up for the rights of LGBTQ+ people when we are under attack and engaging in marketing during Pride that is essentially pinkwashing to sell merchandise and make a profit.
Right-wing politicians like Marco Rubio and Governor Ron Desantis are using misinformation, hate and fear to prey upon the lives of LGBTQ+ people and transgender kids for their own political gain.
To be clear, the only controversy that exists is the one being manufactured by these extremists. We cannot allow right-wing politicians to prey on hate and disinformation for political gain or dictate to Corporate America to exclude people from diversity and inclusion programs during Pride celebrations.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are not mocking a faith. This is a non-profit group of activists and performers who raise money and awareness for life and death causes like HIV/AIDS, addiction, and cancer research.
It’s unacceptable that the Dodgers have capitulated to the hate agenda of these out-of-state right-wing bigots, and I call upon them to reverse this decision immediately. I will not be attending Pride Night, and unless this decision is reversed, I urge the Dodgers to cancel it and reflect upon and repair the damage they have caused with this misguided action. It’s not appropriate for the Dodgers to conduct a Pride celebration that benefits them when they are complicit in an attack on the LGBTQ+ community.”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath retweeted the Dodgers’ tweet and said, “If they’re not invited, I’m not going. Celebrating Pride is about inclusion. Do better.”
Representative Jimmy Gomez (CA-34, Los Angeles) said, via a statement on Twitter, “If Disney can stand up to DeSantis and support the LGBTQ+ community in Florida, the @Dodgers should be able to stand up to political pressure coming from other states. I’m a Catholic AND I support the LGBTQ+ community. You can be both. This isn’t what our city stands for. After 10 years of the Dodgers supporting the LGBTQ+ community, it’s deeply offensive that they would turn their back on them now.”
Assemblymember Phil Ting, of the 19th Assembly District (San Francisco/San Mateo) urged another California baseball team to step up via Twitter, “Outrageous the @Dodgers caved in to hate & disinvited @SFSisters from #LGBTQ+ Pride Night. In CA, we value inclusivity. I encourage the @SFGiants to honor this fantastic organization by having 1 of the sisters throw out the 1st pitch on their Pride Night.”
The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence also responded to the action said via their website and social media channels, “The San Francisco Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc., a leading-edge Order of queer and trans nuns in San Francisco, Calif., today expressed their deep offense and outrage at the Los Angeles Dodgers recent decision to retract their offer of a Community Hero Award, to be presented to the Los Angeles Sisters, following criticism from religious conservatives.
The Dodgers capitulated in response to hateful and misleading information from people outside their community, who target not only the LGBTQQ++ community but also women’s autonomy over their bodies, people and communities of color, and other faiths and nationalities.
Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, condemned the Sisters as a “blatantly perverted, sexual and disgusting anti-Catholic hate group.” This is simply not true. The Sisters began in 1979 in response to the AIDS crisis, when gay men, who their faiths and families had abandoned because of their orientation, were sick and dying. The Sisters were among the first to raise money to help care for people with AIDS and to create and distribute safer-sex information.
In the decades since the Sisters have grown with chapters across the world. They are a 501(C)3 charitable organization that annually raises thousands of dollars to distribute to organizations supporting marginalized communities. They support other groups, including several mainstream churches, in their work. Sisters are regularly called upon to minister to the sick, the dying, and the mourning…”