SAN FRANCISCO - Sister Unity with the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence said the group was honored to find out the LA Dodgers planned to present them the "Community Hero Award" at the team’s Pride night in June. Then suddenly, the Sisters were disinvited, the award, rescinded.
In a statement – the Dodgers said, "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."
"We were looking forward to having that moment at the microphone to say our message, which is there is room in the world for everyone to be who they are as they as free from guilt and shame," said Sister Unity. "To be denied that opportunity is a bit of a loss."
The decision followed criticism from groups like the Catholic League and from Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who accused the Sisters of mocking and degrading the faith. The Sisters wear habits and call themselves a group of queer and trans nuns.
"The Sisters aren’t mocking anyone. The Sisters are expressing themselves," said State Senator Scott Wiener. "They are a core institution in the LGBTQ community and I’m proud of them."
Wiener said the group has done important and life-saving work in the community they serve. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence formed in San Francisco in 1979 and now have chapters worldwide. They raise money for different charities, do outreach, and promote human rights.
"I was absolutely floored that a California sports team would kick out some drag queens from an event," said Wiener.
Honey Mahogany, the Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party said California should be a refuge. "Well first, how rude of them to extend an invitation and then take it back. But then to cave to these voices on the right, right now especially when we are seeing drag queens being attacked all across the country, that is heartbreaking to me," said Mahogany.
Sister Unity said they are not anti-religion – and they even have some Catholic members. While they are disappointed to miss the Dodgers Pride Night, "We will return our focus to what we’ve always done. Go back on the streets of Los Angeles and look for the people whose voices are never heard. People who are shunned and kicked out of their families because of who they are," said Sister Unity.
The LA Dodgers Pride Night is scheduled for June 16.