Dodgers Do 180 on Pride Night After 2nd Round of Backlash

MLB team uninvited LGBTQ+ charity group after conservative complaints, then reinvited them
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2023 8:33 AM CDT
Dodgers Reinvite LGBTQ+ Group to Pride Night
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence show their support during a gay pride parade in West Hollywood, California, on June 12, 2016. The Los Angeles Dodgers have reinvented a satirical LGBTQ group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to receive an award at the team's annual Pride Night, nearly a...   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File)

It didn't seem out of the ordinary that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an LGBTQ+ charity and satirical performance drag group in which participants dress as nuns, had been invited to the Los Angeles Dodgers' 10th annual Pride Night next month. The group was set to receive a "Community Hero Award" for their work over the decades raising money and awareness for marginalized people, including AIDS patients and unhoused queer and transgender youth. That all changed, however, after conservative-driven backlash led to the group being disinvited from the June 16 event—followed by a second round of backlash from LGBTQ+ supporters that led to the group being reinvited, along with an apology from the MLB team.

ESPN reports that the hubbub began last Wednesday, when the Dodgers announced they were rescinding their invite to the Sisters, noting "the strong feelings of people who have been offended" by the group. Among those who'd complained: priests, the conservative Catholic League and CatholicVote, and GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, per the Los Angeles Times. "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 a May 15 letter to MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred. "They caught people off guard," a Dodgers staffer tells the Times of the complaints that started pouring in.

Those complaints led to the Dodgers taking back the Sisters' invite, which led to a whole new round of backlash—this time from LGBTQ+ advocates angry that the team had caved to conservative pressure. The outrage from the Sisters, politicians, Dodgers employees, and fans "threatened to derail Pride Night entirely," per the Times, with big names like the ACLU announcing they wouldn't attend. On Monday, the Dodgers issued an apology and reinvited the group, "after much thoughtful feedback from our diverse communities." The Sisters, for their part, have accepted the Dodgers' olive branch as a genuine gesture and will happily attend Pride Night to receive their award. "Our community is concerned with performative allyship, but we believe this is very sincere," one of the LA arm's founding members tells the Times. (More Los Angeles Dodgers stories.)

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