The Los Angeles Dodgers have criticized the team’s decision to withdraw a group’s invitation to the 10th annual celebration of diversity and inclusion scheduled for June 16 at Dodger Stadium ahead of upcoming LGBTQ+ Pride Night. confronting.
The club announced Wednesday that it would no longer honor the award. Sisters of Eternal Indulgence The Community Hero Award was presented at a pre-game ceremony that evening, effectively shunning the participation of philanthropic, protest and street performers who use humor or religious imagery to call attention to sexual intolerance.
The decision came after intense pressure from conservative Catholic groups, including the Catholic League and the Catholic Vote, in a letter from Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred. and questioned whether the inclusion of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence would have any effect. Be “tolerant and Christian welcoming”.
In announcing the decision, the Dodgers said LGBTQ+ Pride Nights “became a meaningful tradition that not only highlights the diversity and resilience of our fan base, but also highlights the influential work of exceptional community groups.” Stated. However, the team also said: “Considering the strong feelings of those who were offended by the sisters’ participation in our night, and not to turn a blind eye to the great benefits we have seen over the years of Pride Nights, we said: “We are making the decision to drop them from this year’s group of winners.”
By Thursday, the celebration, which was supposed to take place at Dodger Stadium, became a lightning rod for the controversy. And, according to a team official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the situation, the impact of the organization’s surprise has left the club internally weighing possible compromises. It says.
Los Angeles LGBT Center condemned the Dodgers’ decision On Thursday, he called on the franchise to back down on its stance on the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence or cancel Pride Nights altogether.
Part of the center’s statement said, “Bending under pressure from right-wing fundamentalists out of state, the Dodgers have bowed to a religious minority who perpetuates false narratives about LGBTQ+ people. Being indoctrinated in lies about the Of Perpetual Indulgence, they are complicit in the country’s ongoing anti-LGBTQ smear campaign, many of them in a year in which more than 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills are being considered. is aimed at free speech, free expression, and the physical autonomy of our community.The fight for LGBTQ+ rights is as important as ever, and unfortunately the Dodgers have chosen our LGBTQ Instead of supporting the community, we give in to the religious right.”
Southern California American Civil Liberties Union Also announced on Twitter In unity with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, they declared, “We will not participate in Pride Nights.” In a post, the organization noted that the Dodgers, who broke baseball’s color lines with Jackie Robinson in 1947, were formerly “champions of inclusion.”
And LA Pride, the organizers of the LA Pride Parade and Festival, an organization that claims to have hosted the world’s first permitted parade to defend gay rights in 1970, said their organization He said: not attending the event again.
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence was founded in San Francisco in 1979. According to the organization’s website, its members are dedicated to “serving the community, ministry, helping the poor, and promoting respect for human rights, diversity and spiritual enlightenment.” The organization “uses humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of prejudice, complacency, and guilt that bind the human psyche.”
Members of the group, which describes itself as “a cutting-edge gay and transgender nuns’ cult,” typically wear clothing that incorporates religious imagery, such as nun customs.
The Los Angeles chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, which has actively served the region’s LGBTQ community for 27 years, was to receive the award from the Dodgers.
of statement expressing disappointment It said the Dodgers were “yielding to pressure from outside California and outside our community,” and that the Dodgers had chosen to “break their alliance with us in their continued service to the nation.” pointed out, the group continued. To tell:
“We are both stupid and serious. Free from feeling, there is room for us to live in love and joy for ourselves.” myself.
“We would like to point out that while our LGBTQIA community is currently under attack by a minority of extremist groups seeking to reverse social progress, they are a minority and a coexisting nation. It doesn’t represent the commitment of the majority of Americans to our great melting pot.”
Pride Nights have become an integral part of each growing season for the organization that broke barriers with Robinson in 1947. Last year, the Dodgers wore a custom-designed rainbow logo cap during a game for the first time, said Eric Braverman, the team’s senior vice president of marketing, communications and broadcasting. seasonal nights. ”
Last year’s Pride Night kind of closed the loop by honoring Glenn Burke, the first major leaguer to come out as gay. Glenn Burke was traded to Oakland in 1978 after declining a team offer of $75,000 for a very nice honeymoon if he could. get married Without knowing about Burke’s personal life, the deal would have been meaningless.
Burke was a close friend of fellow gay Tommy Lasorda Jr., who died of complications from AIDS in 1991. The Dodgers’ move to pay tribute to Burke on Pride came after the team’s Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda passed away in 2021. night. Nonetheless, more than 40 of Burke’s family and friends traveled to Los Angeles for the occasion.
“These celebrations are important,” tennis superstar Billie Jean King, a Dodgers minority shareholder and life honorary chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, said last year. “For a moment, slow down and think about what is being celebrated, not just the fun part, but the deeper meaning.
“There’s a lot to celebrate. But we also have to be very vigilant.”