The L.A. Dodgers have listened to reason, and as of Monday afternoon, announced that they’ve reinvited the charity drag group Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to the organization’s Pride Night next month—after disinviting the group last week when Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and other conservative activists (many far from Los Angeles) threw a prolonged temper tantrum over the Sisters.
“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 a statement. Per the Dodgers’ statement, the Sisters have agreed to accept their place at the team’s Pride Night, and the organization offered recognition to “the lifesaving work [the group has] done tirelessly for decades.”
Just last week, the Dodgers told their fans that because their inclusion of the Sisters had become “the source of some controversy”—namely in the form of Rubio and co.’s aforementioned meltdown—they decided “to remove them from this year’s group of honorees.” The announcement sparked an avalanche of well-deserved backlash against the Dodgers for corporate cowardice and caving to anti-LGBTQ politicians.
Worse, the anti-LGBTQ attacks on the Sisters erased the group’s extensive history of activism: The organization was founded in 1979 as a group of activists on the frontlines of the AIDS crisis. They hosted some of the first fundraisers for AIDS victims in the nation, and since the group’s founding, have continued to raise funds for their communities while organizing vibrant community drag events.
The Sisters have since responded to the Dodgers’ statement reinviting them by sharing their own, explaining that a “full apology and explanation was given to us by the Dodgers staff which we accept.” “In the future, if similar pressures from outside our community arise, our two organizations will consult and assist each other in responding,” the Sisters said.
Naturally, and, if anything, proving that the Sisters shouldn’t have been removed in the first place, Rubio and Catholic rights (?) activists have already resumed smearing the group and criticizing the Dodgers’ decision, claiming the Sisters’ use of Catholic imagery and paraphernalia for their drag costumes is “anti-Catholic.”
“Shamefully, (but not surprisingly) the @dodgers have been bullied into apologizing to & “re-inviting” a group of anti-catholic bigots,” Rubio wrote in a Monday tweet, dripping with shameless irony. “Today our great country is controlled by socio-political ruling elites who don’t just tolerate anti-Christian bigotry, they encourage & celebrate it.”
I almost have to laugh at Rubio and conservative Catholic groups having the gall to call queer people anti-Catholic since they’ve been forced to face generations of anti-LGBTQ oppression and attacks from the Church and its followers—you know, like what we’re seeing now. Even more ironically, some Catholic groups—the same groups covering for a Church that’s routinely embroiled in child sexual abuse scandals—have criticized the Sisters for being dangerous to children.
I can’t emphasize enough that the same people now melting down over the Dodgers’ doing the right thing, never should have had the influence to get the Sisters removed in the first place. This was all an embarrassing, easily avoidable mess of the Dodgers’ own creation. But nonetheless, taking action and reinviting the Sisters is ultimately better than not doing so.