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The Dodgers’ Pride Night Is Selling Out the LGBTQ+ Community

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Writer’s Note: This article was written prior to the Dodgers righteously reinviting The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to their 2023 Pride Night. All stances in the article are maintained; the Los Angeles Dodgers cave to whatever pressure causes them to make the most profit.

After pressure from conservatives led by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the Los Angeles Dodgers have uninvited The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI) from Dodger Stadium’s annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night. The decision came after Rubio wrote a letter to Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred questioning the league’s devotion to an “inclusive and welcoming environment” for Christians. The Dodgers released a statement about their decision on May 17, citing the “strong feelings of people who have been offended” and “an effort to not distract from the great benefits [the Dodgers] have seen [from Pride Night].”

This is nothing short of disrespect towards the LGBTQ+ community from an organization with a history of bigotry and anti-queer antics. The Dodgers had a chance to stand strong in the face of hateful conservative pressure and fell flat on their face. There is simply no explanation for them taking away both an invitation to Pride Night and a community award from a group so deserving of one.

If noted saint Marco Rubio disagrees with an organization, surely he’s in the right, right? Certainly, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence must be a no-good, Satan-worshiping, Christian-hating, LGBTQ+ propaganda machine targeting young children and Catholics.

Based in California, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a non-profit collective of transgender and queer nuns organizing to fight LGBTQ+ bigotry and promote human rights. The organization uses drag to empower marginalized communities and encourage diversity throughout 25 U.S. states.  

Super satanic. 

So, what are Marco Rubio and other conservatives even complaining about?

To those who do not understand the purpose of SPI, it’s understandable to think that they are mocking Christian nuns. Their work is not arbitrarily anti-Christianity, however. Regardless of the context in which these activists wear their drag nun outfits, one thing is clear: the Christian Church has a long history of human rights abuses, which SPI fights. SPI’s activism for LGBTQ+ human rights is what put them in a position to receive an award from the Dodgers in the first place. Marco Rubio likely does not know anything about SPI and their mission. All the Senator sees is his nation-dominating religion being mocked for atrocities its leaders have undoubtedly committed. 

With drag being such a crucial part of the LGBTQ+ movement, it is ridiculous to remove a leading drag organization from a Pride Night. The right-wing pressure on the Dodgers exposed the ugly truth of MLB and all other major corporations: they do not care about queer people. Corporations will make their dime off of the subordinated classes’ culture at the closest margin possible. Shameless rainbow capitalism shined brighter than ever when the Dodgers quietly tweeted their decision to remove The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. As soon as the Dodgers felt they had a real chance of losing Republican support and money, they caved and cut out a group that has done abundant work for the LGBTQ+ community. 

The Dodgers are no strangers to anti-queerness, though. Longtime manager Tommy Lasorda Sr. infamously rejected the fact that his son, Tommy Lasorda Jr., was gay. Lasorda Jr. eventually died as a victim of the AIDS epidemic in 1991, with Lasorda Sr. continuing to deny his queerness and claiming he died of cancer. When Glenn Burke, the first openly gay MLB player, befriended Lasorda Jr, the Dodgers’ manager had him traded

Backlash from the Dodgers’ decision to remove the group from Pride Night was immediate. Fans across the U.S. have voiced displeasure with the organization on social media. The outrage is more than justified; the Dodgers failed the LGBTQ+ community and anyone who considers themselves an ally. Pride Night at Dodger Stadium should be boycotted indefinitely until the organization reinvites SPI and posts a public apology to the nuns and the queer community. 

A disappointing organization will always disappoint. For all of the Dodgers’ success on the field, they continue to carry a muddy history off of it.

Baseball is a beautiful game that deserves to be enjoyed by all. Los Angeles is a beautiful city with a rich history largely rooted in queer and working-class struggle. To maintain that connection, the queer community can no longer be viewed as a commodity. The Dodgers must undo their decision and rightfully celebrate the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for the influential organization that they are.

Jacob Ramos is an Opinion Apprentice for the spring 2023 quarter. He can be reached at jacobtr@uci.edu.