By The Vanguard Staff
LOS ANGELES, CA – The LGBT Center and other equality groups are strongly criticizing a decision by the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation to disinvite the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to next month’s Pride Night.
The group said, “We are queer nuns serving our people just as nuns of other cultures serve theirs. We are not solely male; our membership includes all genders, religions, and romantic affiliations.”
“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,” said the Dodgers.
Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Joe Hollendoner shot back, “We are deeply disappointed that the Dodgers, an organizational partner that has made significant strides towards dismantling anti-LGBTQ+ bias in sports and long-standing supporter of our mission, has decided to revoke their invitation to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at their upcoming Pride Night.”
Hollendoner added the Dodgers were “[b]uckling to pressure from out-of-state, right-wing fundamentalists (and) caved to a religious minority that is perpetuating a false narrative about LGBTQ+ people. They have been fed lies about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and have therefore contributed to the ongoing, anti-LGBTQ smear campaign happening in this country.”
The LGBT Center said if the Dodgers don’t change their mind, Pride Night should be cancelled.
“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. Any organization that turns its back on LGBTQ+ people at this damning and dangerous inflection point in our nation’s history should not be hoisting a rainbow flag or hosting a ‘Pride Night,’” said Hollendoner in a statement.
Hollendoner continued, “We want the Dodgers ally ship to be consistent with our experience partnering with them over the past many years. The people of Los Angeles County have consistently and overwhelmingly shown up for LGBTQ+ equality. If one of our most beloved institutions—the Dodgers—refuses to stand by us at this moment, we are terrified of what will come next. Los Angeles is a leader—not a follower. We call on the Dodgers to set an example.
“The anti-LGBTQ+ extremists who advocated for the removal of the Sisters from Pride Night are the very same people who are trying to erase the rights of trans kids and their families, criminalize drag performance and roll back equality for LGBTQ+ people across the country,” Equality California said in a statement.
The LGBT Center noted, “In a year where over 400 pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation are on the books—many of them targeting freedom of speech, expression, and the bodily autonomy of our community—the fight for LGBTQ+ rights is as critical as ever, and unfortunately the Dodgers chose to bow to the religious right rather than stand with our LGBTQ community.
“We at the Center know that the religious right—a minority aligned with white supremacy and attacks on reproductive justice—does not speak for all people of faith, including the many people of faith within the LGBTQ+ community.
“We know that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have reclaimed religious imagery, garb, and symbolism to advocate for LGBTQ+ equality; through their protests, they have exposed the hypocrisy of the churches that demonized gay people during the AIDS Crisis; challenged faith institutions to stand with queer and trans people; and raised valuable resources for our community as we were turned away from services elsewhere.
“To our Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, we say: Thank you. You will always have a place to be honored at the Los Angeles LGBT Center,” the organization said in its statement.
Noting that “for once…common sense prevailed,” in California, Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio charged, “The ‘sisters’ are men who dress in lewd imitation of Roman Catholic nuns. The group’s motto ‘go and sin some more,’ is a perversion of Jesus’ command to ‘go, and sin no more.”