The Los Angeles Dodgers decided to revoke the invitation extended to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for their upcoming Pride Night celebration following opposition from Catholic groups for including “queer and trans nuns.” The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a nonprofit organization known for utilizing drag, fundraising, and faith-based imagery in their social advocacy. The group describes itself as a progressive group of queer and transgender nuns. It originated in San Francisco in 1979 when three individuals donned traditional nun attire during Easter weekend. Over time, they transitioned into a charitable group especially when one of their events at the Metropolitan Community Church in 1980, raised $1,500 to support gay Cuban refugees.
Religion News Service reports:
The Los Angeles Dodgers disinvited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — a nonprofit that uses drag, fundraising and religious imagery in its social advocacy — from the team’s upcoming Pride Night celebration after pushback from Catholic groups accusing the organization of degrading their faith.
“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 on Wednesday (May 17).
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, described on their website as a “leading-edge Order of queer and trans nuns,” was founded in 1979 in San Francisco after three men went out into the streets on Easter weekend wearing the traditional habits of nuns. They emerged as a charity organization when one of their early events at Metropolitan Community Church raised $1,500 for gay Cuban refugees in 1980.
They were among the first to act when the AIDS epidemic hit San Francisco in the early 1980s, distributing pamphlets that coined the term “safe sex” and visiting bathhouses to promote condom use, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Regarded as “nuns for the gay community,” the Sisters are not Catholic nuns, nor officially affiliated with any specific religious organization.
Read the full article here.
Though the Dodgers rescinded the invite due to pressure from politicians and religious folk, they have reversed course apologized and extended another invitation to the event and award ceremony where the group will receive the Community Hero Award. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have accepted the new invitation. The Dodgers have championed inclusion for many years beginning with Black player Jackie Robinson in 1947, but became the target of boycotts following the previous decision to disinvite the charity group. Some of the boycotting groups have said they will return considering the Dodger’s course correction.
The Dodgers stated:
“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 team said in its statement.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center also responded to the situation :
“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,” the group said in a statement. “We must continue to stand together as a community in defense of the rights and recognition of LGBTQ+ people in Los Angeles and beyond.”
You can read the follow-up story here.