June 16, 2023 — Today a coalition of LGBTQ, faith, sports, and other organizations released a statement of support for the Los Angeles Dodgers and inclusion of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at their Pride Night tonight, Friday, June 16.
GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization; and Athlete Ally, a national nonprofit LGBTQ athletic advocacy group, have since been in touch with the Sisters about their work and organized the statement and list of signers, which includes:
Human Rights Campaign
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Women’s Law Center
Los Angeles LGBT Center
New Ways Ministry
Movement Advancement Project
Yass, Jesus! Podcast
CenterLink: The Community of LGBTQ Centers
The full statement can be found here. The statement reads in part:
“Pride Nights show all in the stands and watching on TV that their LGBTQ neighbors are sports fans and everyday people, just like anyone. … We want to be perfectly clear: The groups that the Dodgers will honor at their Pride Night, including the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, belong in the Dodgers’ stadium and are deserving of recognition. The Sisters have served their community for decades, bringing ‘flamboyant hilarity to serious causes’ including supporting people with HIV, fighting for justice and equality, feeding the hungry, finding shelter for the unhoused, and raising more than a million dollars for charity, with grace, humor and uncommon compassion. They have the support of Catholic leaders, real-life sisters, elected officials, sports fans and everyday Angelenos. Their costumes, make-up and wit might be irreverent to some, but ‘can never trump the works of mercy,’ wrote one ordained sister.
“Sports are for everyone, and sports bring us together. The Dodgers recognized this more than 76 years ago when the team hired Jackie Robinson and broke down baseball’s color wall. This history should always be something to celebrate, and inspires us today to strive for equality and inclusion. We are all human, and all on the same team.”
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were the subject of high-profile media attention after backlash from anti-LGBTQ extremists who object to the Los Angeles chapter of the non-profit organization receiving a Community Hero Award from the Los Angeles Dodgers during its annual Pride Night.
Last month, the Los Angeles Dodgers rescinded an invitation to honor them. The LA LGBT Center, Equality California, the American Civil Liberties Union, and other civil rights organizations and nonprofits quickly publicly denounced the move. Shortly after, the Dodgers reversed their decision, stating “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 Los Angeles chapter of the Sisters re-accepted the honor.
A recent Morning Consult study shows support for sports leagues hosting Pride Nights and nights focused on inclusivity, especially among young people. Almost half of U.S. adults (47%) said they support leagues’ hosting Pride Nights. Three in 5 millennials (60%) and 57% of Gen Zers said the same.
In a separate survey question, about 1 in 4 sports fans (27%) and U.S. adults (25%) said sports teams should host more nights focused on inclusivity, up 3 percentage points each from a 2022 survey.
The full text of the letter is available here. For interviews with one or more signers of the letter, or to request an interview with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.