Catholic groups protested outside the Los Angeles Dodgers stadium during a controversial Pride event that featured the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The group of drag queens, who dress in elaborate nuns’ habits, has been roundly condemned as a “hate group” for mocking and ridiculing the Catholic faith.
The drama began with the baseball team inviting the drag group to its Pride celebration on June 16. An outcry from Catholics followed, and the invitation to the sisters was rescinded. This prompted yet another outcry including a statement from the Los Angeles LGBT Center saying its members would not attend unless the drag queens were re-invited. The Dodgers backed down and told the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence they were once again welcome to attend.
The event took place as planned but with hundreds of protestors gathered outside. Festivities on the evening, which included a game against San Francisco, were furthermore condemned by a number of senior Catholic clerics, as well as Republican Congressman Marco Rubio and a small group of players.
Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, and Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services issued a joint statement calling on Catholics to pray “as an act of reparation for the blasphemies against our Lord we see in our culture today.”
Floridian Senator Marco Rubio had written to the Dodgers saying the team was breaking its own conduct codes by entertaining an organization that openly ridiculed the faith of others. On the day of the event, the Senator claimed Spectrum SportsNet LA, a cable network serving the Los Angeles region, was refusing to air his advert denouncing the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
Some Catholics however approved of the presence of the controversial troupe. Fr. Chris Ponnet said the drag queens have long undertaken numerous charitable acts and have historically been “a group that has worked with the sick and the dying beginning with the HIV and AIDS pandemic.”