LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers have disinvited a satirical LGBTQ+ group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to the team’s annual Pride Night after opposition from conservative Catholic groups.
The charity, protest and performance group was to have received the team’s Community Hero Award in a ceremony during the 10th annual event before the June 16 game against the San Francisco Giants.
“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 Wednesday.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence first appeared in San Francisco in 1979 in the Castro District in the form of three men wearing nun outfits. It was a whimsical protest over local and LGBTQ+ issues. But over the decades, it has grown into a number of loosely organized chapters around the world that engage in charitable and protest work.
The group’s mission statement says the non-profit is devoted “to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment.”
“We use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit,” according to the group’s website.
Opponents, however, urged the Dodgers to retract their decision to honor the group on the grounds that it mocks the Catholic faith.
In a letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said 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, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence said the group wasn’t anti-Catholic, and its members were offended and outraged by the Dodgers’ decision.
“The Dodgers capitulated in response to hateful and misleading information from people outside their community,” the group said.