Last week, caving to pressure from conservative Catholic groups, the Los Angeles Dodgers decided to reverse its decision to give its "Community Hero Award" to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence—a group committed to "community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment"—and disinvited the group from participating in its annual Pride Night, which will be happening on June 16.
The Sisters posted their response to the decision, which reads, in part:
"Do not let people who hate us all decide that some parts of our community are more tolerable than others, that some shall be seated at the table while others are locked out. We all stand on the shoulders of brave souls who endured much to get us this far and we owe it to them, and those yet to come, to condemn the voices of haters at every turn. The struggle continues, but we look forward to a better, more inclusive world where human diversity is seen as an advantage, not something to fear."
In response to the Dodgers' decision, LA Pride pulled out of the event, in solidarity with the Sisters.
Several prominent LGBTQ+ groups will not participate in the Los Angeles Dodgers' annual Pride Night after the organization announced Wednesday that it would no longer honor an advocacy group with a community service award. The decision, which came after outcry from the Catholic League and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), inspired a more widespread explosion of backlash in defense of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, whose members often dress in brightly colored habits and call themselves "a leading edge Order of queer and trans nuns."
"The disappointment is that they caved, not under immense pressure but at the first sign of pressure from a minority group of loud extremists from way far away and well outside our city and the state," said Sister Unity, a member of the Los Angeles chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. "That disappointed us greatly."
The mayor of Anaheim invited the Sisters to town and took a shot at the Dodgers.
"I think it was a missed opportunity to really err on the side of being inclusive and err on the side of standing up for our marginalized communities, especially on the eve of Harvey Milk Day. Especially on the eve of Pride Month," said Aitkin.