The Los Angeles Dodgers are facing backlash from the LGBTQ community after the MLB franchise decided to rescind its invitation to an organization that was supposed to participate in the team's upcoming Pride Night.
LA Pride, a nonprofit organization that serves the LGBTQ community of Greater Los Angeles, announced Thursday it will no longer be participating in the event after the team cut ties with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a self-described group of queer and trans "nuns."
"As a longstanding partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, we are very disappointed in their decision to rescind their invitation to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to be honored at the 10th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night," the group said in a statement on Twitter. "As a result and in solidarity with our community, LA Pride will not be participating in this year's Dodgers Pride Night Events."
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were due to be honored with the Dodger's Community Hero Award during a pre-game ceremony on June 16. That's until the team announced it had been made aware that the group was "a source of some controversy" and would not be included in the pool of honorees.
"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 press release.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence was founded in San Francisco in 1979 by three men who dressed up as nuns on Easter Sunday to protest local LGBTQ issues. Over the years, the group has grown into a number of chapters around the globe that organize protests and engage in charitable work.
The group's mission statement says it is a nonprofit organization that is "devoted to community service, ministry, and outreach to those on the edges and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity, and spiritual enlightenment."
"We use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit," the group's website says.
However, opponents say the group uses religious imagery that's insulting to the Catholic faith
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio sent a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, calling the group "blasphemous" and asking where the league stands on the issue.
"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?" the Florida Republican wrote. "Do you believe it is morally right for the most important league of our national pastime to honor a group that mocks religion, and one religion in particular?"
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence said Thursday that they are not anti-Catholic, calling it ironic to be condemned by "religious conservatives" given the church's "long history of condoning and concealing the sexual abuse of children."
The MLB did not immediately comment on the matter.
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