Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw
© AP Photo/Jeff ChiuLos Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw wears a rainbow logo on his hat on Pride Day at Oracle Park during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco, Saturday, June 11, 2022.
In response to the Dodgers, Los Angeles LGBT Center said they plan to completely withdraw from Pride Night if the decision isn't reversed.

Following criticism from various Catholic groups, the Dodgers Wednesday withdrew an invitation the team had extended to The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence -- described on its website as an "order of queer and trans nuns" -- to participate in the team's annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night.

"This year, as part of a full night of programming, we invited several groups to join us," according to a statement issued by the team Wednesday. "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.

"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."

In response to the decision by the Dodgers, Los Angeles LGBT Center said Thursday that they plan to completely withdraw from Pride Night if the decision isn't reversed.

"We call on the Dodgers to reconsider their decision, honor the Sisters, and bring the true spirit of Pride back to Dodgers Stadium. If the decision is not reversed, we strongly encourage the Dodgers to cancel Pride Night. Any organization that turns its back on LGBTQ+ people at this damning and dangerous inflection point in our nation's history should not be hoisting a rainbow flag or hosting a 'Pride Night," the center said.

"If one of our most beloved institutions — the Dodgers — refuses to stand by us now, we are terrified of what will come next. Los Angeles is a leader — not a follower. We call on the Dodgers to set an example."

San Diego Pride organizers responded to the controversy with a statement to CBS 8 that read in part,

"The MLB has made tremendous progress with LGBTQ inclusivity over the years, so the Dodgers' hypocritical decision to rescind their invitation to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on Pride Night comes as a shocking deviation from that positive trajectory," said Fernando Z. López, Executive Director of San Diego Pride.

"The time for our allies to stand with us is now, unwavering and unafraid. We stand with our Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and hope the Dodgers will reconsider the hurtful mistake and work to make restorative amends."

The group had been scheduled to receive a Community Hero Award at the team's June 16 Pride Night, honoring its efforts to promote human rights, diversity, and "spiritual enlightenment."

The Sisters' website describes the organization as "a leading-edge order of queer and trans nuns."

"We believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty. Since our first appearance in San Francisco on Easter Sunday 1979, the Sisters have devoted ourselves to community service, ministry, and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity, and spiritual enlightenment," the group says.

The Dodgers' original decision to honor the group drew criticism from various Catholic organizations. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, accused the team of "rewarding anti-Catholicism" by honoring the group.

"The Catholic League has been the leading critic of this bigoted organization for many decades," Donohue wrote on the organization's website. "... These homosexual bigots are known for simulating sodomy while dressed as nuns."

He added, "Just last month, they held an event mocking our Blessed Mother and Jesus on Easter Sunday."

Donohue wrote to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to protest the Dodgers' decision to honor the group.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, also complained to Manfred, saying the group "mocks Christians through diabolical parodies of our faith."

"Do you believe that the Los Angeles Dodgers are being 'inclusive and welcoming to everyone' by awarding a group of gay and transgender drag performers that intentionally mocks and degrades Christians -- and not only Christians but nuns, who devote their lives to serving others?" Rubio wrote in his letter.

The organization Catholic Vote also condemned the move. Its president, Brian Burch, issued a statement Wednesday hailing the team's decision to exclude the group, which he called "an anti-Catholic hate group known for their gross mockery of Catholic nuns."

"While we continue to wonder how such a group was selected in the first place, this incident should serve as a wake-up call for all religious believers: unchecked woke corporations have no qualms about exploiting people of faith," Burch said.

But the team's decision to dis-invite the group also generated criticism.

"If they're not invited, I'm not going," Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath wrote on her Twitter page. "Celebrating Pride is about inclusion. Do better."

Assemblyman Rick Chavez Zbur, D-Santa Monica, and a longtime LGBTQ+ civil rights advocate also condemned the exclusion of the Sisters.

"I'm deeply saddened by the hate & ignorance perpetuated by leaders of other states for cheap political points, & I am truly disappointed that our beloved LA Dodgers have given into their manufactured outrage," Zbur wrote on Twitter. "LGBTQ+ lives, families, love & existence have long been characterized as offensive & controversial, but we do not give in to those calls. I urge the Dodgers to reverse this decision & ensure our home team reflects the true Los Angeles values of inclusion & acceptance."