First they were on, then they were off.
And now the drag-queen group known as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is back on again at Dodgers Stadium.
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Monday that the team will stick to the original plan to honor the drag queens who dress like Catholic nuns, less than a week after disinviting them in response to pushback from conservative Catholics who accuse the group of mocking their religion.
The team also apologized to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, which describes itself as a “leading-edge Order of queer and trans nuns,” after a backlash from activists, politicians and LGBTQ groups outraged by the decision to exclude the drag-performance group from Pride Night.
“After much thoughtful feedback from our diverse communities, honest conversations within the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and generous discussions with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Los Angeles Dodgers would like to offer our sincerest apologies to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, members of the LGBTQ+ community and their friends and families,” the Dodgers said in a statement.
“We have asked the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to take their place on the field at our 10th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night on June 16,” the team said.
The Dodgers said the “nuns” have agreed to forgive the team by appearing at Chavez Ravine.
“We are pleased to share that they have agreed to receive the gratitude of our collective communities for the lifesaving work that they have done tirelessly for decades,” the team said.
Cheering the latest about-face was the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which credited community pressure for compelling the team to “ultimately do right by LGBQ+ people everywhere.”
“Today’s decision by the Dodgers to publicly apologize to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and roll back their exclusion from next month’s Pride Night is a step in the right direction, and we support the Sisters’ vote to accept their much-deserved Community Hero Award,” said the center.
The center said that it will “always strive to hold our corporate partners accountable – which means so much more than waving a rainbow flag.”
Founded in 1979 in San Francisco, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a registered non-profit group that does fundraising for primarily LGBTQ causes, although the group is best known for its bawdy sexual humor and parodies of Catholicism.
Last week’s debacle underscores the dangerous impact of political tactics by those who seek to stoke the flames of anti-LGBTQ bias at a time when our rights are under attack. pic.twitter.com/kPtwGJEM1s
— Los Angeles LGBT Center (@LALGBTCenter) May 22, 2023
Catholics including the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, CatholicVote, and Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, accused the group of anti-Catholic bigotry in letters last week to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.
“These homosexual bigots are known for simulating sodomy while dressed as nuns,” said Catholic League President Bill Donohoe in a May 16 statement. “They like to feature a ‘Condom Savior Mass,’ one that describes how the ‘Latex Host is the flesh for the life of the world.’ The ‘Sisters’ go by names such as ‘Sister Homo Fellatio’ and ‘Sister Joyous Reserectum.’ Just last month, they held an event mocking Our Blessed Mother and Jesus on Easter Sunday.”
In December, Mr. Manfred said he wanted to keep MLB as “inclusive and welcoming to everyone as possible and keep ourselves as apolitical as possible,” prompting a challenge from Mr. Rubio.
“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?” Mr. Rubio asked in his letter.
After the Dodgers disinvited the group last week, the Los Angeles SPI chapter said the team “capitulated to hateful and misleading information” and insisted it was “not anti-Catholic” while touting its charity work.
“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,” said the Los Angeles chapter in a May 18 statement.
“The Sisters were among the first to raise money to help care for people with AIDS and to create and distribute safe-sex information,” the group said.
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