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Dodgers disinvite drag troupe from team’s Pride Night celebration

Honoring The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a decades-old LGBTQ nonprofit, would violate the event’s “spirit of unity,” the Los Angeles baseball team said.
/ Source: NBC News

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday rescinded their Pride Night invite to a famed gay nonprofit that performs in drag, saying the troupe’s presence would run counter to that event’s “spirit of unity.”

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence had been set to be honored on June 16, at a game between the Dodgers and visiting San Francisco Giants, before the home team changed course.

“This event has become a meaningful tradition, highlighting not only the diversity and resilience within our fanbase, but also the impactful work of extraordinary community groups,” according to a team statement. “We are now aware that our inclusion of one group in particular — The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — in this year’s Pride Night has been the source of some controversy.”

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence was founded in San Francisco in 1979. The activist group’s members dress in drag as nuns with elaborate makeup and have been on the forefront of LGBTQ rights activism for decades. In the early ‘80s, for example, the group hosted some of the world’s first fundraisers for AIDS victims.

Earlier this week, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., had complained to the Major League Baseball about the Dodgers honoring this group. In a letter to the MLB commissioner posted on his website, he called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence an “anti-Catholic” group with members “who mock the faith” and encourage “perversion of Jesus’s command to ‘go, and sin no more.’”

While not naming any aggrieved parties who are offended by the group’s presence, the L.A. team said it’d be best if those performers were not at Dodger Stadium that 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 that we have seen over the years of Pride Night, we are deciding to remove them from this year’s group of honorees,” according to the team.

The team’s announcement was made on Wednesday, which marked the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

The Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence said the Dodgers’ move represents the club’s decision to “un-ally themselves” from the nonprofit group’s efforts.

“Today, we are sad to learn the Los Angeles Dodgers have chosen to rescind their award, succumbing to pressure from persons outside of the State of California and outside of our community,” according to a group statement. “We are disappointed they have chosen to un-ally themselves with us in our ongoing service to the public, many of whom enjoy the Dodgers’ heroic efforts in sports.”

This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com.