The Los Angeles Dodgers have re-invited the drag and nonprofit activist group The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to the team’s upcoming Pride Night, following public outcry after the Dodgers rescinded the group’s initial invitation to the event.
“After much thoughtful feedback from our diverse communities, honest conversations with 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], members of the LGBTQ+ community and their friends and families,” the team said in a statement.
The Sisters have agreed to “take their place on the field” for the Dodgers’ Pride Night and accept the Community Hero Award that they were originally going to be given in recognition of the “lifesaving work they have done tirelessly for decades,” the statement added.
“In the weeks ahead, we will continue to work with our LGBTQ+ partners to better educate ourselves, find ways to strengthen the ties that bind and use our platform to support all of our fans who make up the diversity of the Dodgers family,” the statement concluded.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a global nonprofit organization that was founded in 1979 at the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S., is known for its activist work and drag depictions of Catholic nuns.
“We, the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, are proud to accept the Community Hero Award from the Los Angeles Dodgers for our twenty-seven years of service to the LGBTQIA2S Community,” the Sisters wrote on Facebook.
“A full apology and explanation was given to us by the Dodgers staff which we accept,” the Sisters continued. “We believe the apology is sincere.”
The Dodgers last week rescinded the Sisters’ invitation following conservative pushback from Catholic groups and even Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, who sent a letter to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred saying that honoring the Sisters would be “an outrage and a tragedy.”
The Dodgers, citing “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,” then announced in a since-deleted tweet that it had decided “to remove [the Sisters] from this year’s group of honorees.
The move came amid a push by several Republican-led states to pass anti-drag legislation, prompting outcry from LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations.
“At a moment in time when drag performers are under attack across the country — including in state legislatures and in some cases needing armed escorts to protect them from far-right extremists — the Dodgers’ actions are disappointing and let down thousands of LGBTQ+ fans that have supported them throughout the years,” said Tony Hoang, executive director of the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Equality California.