Drag nuns in the outfield? Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence also invited to Angels' Pride Night
The mayor of Anaheim invited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a longtime charity organization made up of queer nuns often in drag, to the Angels' Pride Night next month — after the group was snubbed last week by the Dodgers.
The invitation to Angel Stadium came days after the Dodgers initially reversed their plan to honor the nonprofit group with the Community Hero Award at the team's Pride Night on June 16.
But late Monday, the Dodgers said they decided to reinvite the Sisters' Los Angeles chapter, apologizing for retracting their invitation.
The Times reported last week that the team's decision came a day after the Dodgers and the Major League Baseball commissioner's office were targeted by email campaigns from conservative Catholics objecting to the group.
In a statement Monday, the team said: "After much thoughtful feedback from our diverse communities, and honest conversations within the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and generous discussions with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence ... [we] would like to offer our sincerest apologies."
It said the Sisters had again accepted a place at the team's 10th annual Pride Night. A spokesperson for the Sisters did not immediately respond to questions from The Times about the reversal.
Initially, the Dodgers said they removed the group from Pride Night "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 ... of Pride Night."
But that move created the opposite of limited distractions, instead drawing intense backlash from elected leaders, fans and LGBTQ+ groups across the region, including several organizations pulling out of the Dodgers' Pride Night festivities at Dodger Stadium.
Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken tweeted Saturday that she was among those upset by the Dodgers' decision and invited the Sisters to the Angels' Pride Night on June 7.
"Pride should be inclusive and like many, I was disappointed in the Dodgers decision," she posted on Twitter, using the hashtag #CityofKindness.
🏳️🌈 I’m inviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to join me for @Angels Pride Night at Anaheim Stadium on June 7. Pride should be inclusive and like many, I was disappointed in the Dodgers decision. #CityofKindness #Anaheim
— Mayor Ashleigh Aitken (@AshleighAitken) May 20, 2023
It wasn't immediately clear if she issued an official invitation to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence beyond the tweet or if the group would be honored in any way at Angels' Pride Night. A spokesperson for Aitken declined to answer questions, saying there were no updates available.
The Sisters also didn't immediately respond to questions about the Angels' invitation Monday. A spokesperson for the Angels declined to comment.
The Angels and Dodgers are hosting their Pride Nights on different evenings, so it is possible that the Sisters could attend both.
The Sisters, who describe themselves as a "leading-edge Order of queer and trans nuns," said in a statement last week that they were deeply offended and outraged by the Dodgers' decision to disinvite them.
"The Dodgers capitulated in response to hateful and misleading information from people outside their community," Sister Rosie Partridge, president and an abbess of the San Francisco Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, said in a statement. "Our ministry is real. We promulgate universal joy, expiate stigmatic guilt and our use of religious trappings is a response to those faiths whose members would condemn us and seek to strip away the rights of marginalized communities."
The group has for decades used drag, satire and charity to support the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups.
But some conservative Catholic groups and leaders, including Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, had protested the Dodgers honoring the work of the L.A. Sisters, calling them anti-Catholic.
Partridge called that notion completely false, noting the group's origins during the AIDS crisis to provide money, care and safer-sex information to primarily gay men who had been otherwise outcast by much of society, including religious leaders.
We are "an organization based on love, acceptance and celebrating human diversity," Partridge said. "Sisters are regularly called upon to minister to the sick, the dying and the mourning."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.