The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they have removed The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an activist group, from their annual Pride Night.
While the group has taken part in community outreach since its inception in the late 1970s, the Sisters are known for their use of nun habits in drag performances that satirize and criticize anti-gay stances from the Catholic Church.
Their inclusion in the team’s annual LGBTQ+ celebration drew the ire of the Catholic League and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. Both the Catholic advocacy group and Florida’s senior Republican senator wrote letters to commissioner Rob Manfred that questioned the Dodgers’ decision to invite the Sisters.
Over the last decade, more professional teams have added some form of Pride Night, whether hosting them in June (Pride Month) or doing so in concert with a league’s wider outreach to various communities. The Dodgers were the first MLB team to host a “gay night” back in 2000, one created after a major controversy, but the team didn’t host a second event until launch its annual Pride Night in 2013.
Yet this season, a few NHL teams canceled their themed nights after some players refused to wear Pride-themed pregame warm-up apparel, citing their religious beliefs. The league itself said it would reevaluate Pride celebrations going forward.
Rubio, who has often criticized sports teams and leagues for discussing, if not outright supporting, progressive causes, quote-tweeted the Dodgers’ announcement, saying “for once, common sense prevailed in California.”