A large-scale demonstration took place in Los Angeles against the Los Angeles Dodgers’ recognition of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” a group of drag queens with an anti-Catholic agenda, drawing several thousand people. Organizers of the protest event, held by Catholics for Catholics, a Phoenix-based group, touted the gathering as a major victory, with the numbers far outpacing the crowd for the drag queens’ award ceremony. John Yep, the CEO of the organization, praised the rally as a triumph for Catholic believers and a wakeup call for the U.S. bishops, expressing his conviction that Catholics will no longer wait for the bishops to lead.
The rally started with a prayer outside Dodger Stadium, led by Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, and followed by a procession, to protest and make reparation for the Dodgers’ recognition of the “Sisters.” These drag queens, who self-identify as an “order of queer and trans nuns,” have drawn criticism for mocking the Catholic Church, religious sisters, the Holy Eucharist, and the Mass through their activities. Despite this controversy, the Dodgers had declared in May their decision to present the drag queens with a “Community Hero Award” during their LGBT “Pride Night” event, causing a significant backlash.
The Dodgers had briefly rescinded their invitation to the drag queens due to negative public reaction, only to reinvite them following pressure from LGBT activists, the L.A. teachers union, and other left-leaning groups. This move ignited outrage among Catholics and conservatives, including Washington Nationals pitcher Trevor Williams and Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Bishop Strickland emphasized at the event the importance of upholding the message of Jesus Christ, expressing that they “need to live as those ready to die and ready to live for the blood that was shed for us all.”
Signs like “Stop Anti-Catholic Hate,” “Boycott Dodgers,” “Viva Cristo Rey!,” and “Go and Sin No More” were seen amongst the crowd. These sentiments were a stark contrast to the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” motto of “go and sin some more,” perceived as a blasphemous mockery of Jesus Christ’s words. The crowd even blocked the entrance to the stadium at one point, with some chanting “Jesus.”
The Dodgers proceeded to present their Community Hero Award to two members of the drag queen group before a sparse crowd at Dodger Stadium, with the award ceremony met with boos from some of the fans. Jon Root, a conservative commentator and former sports broadcaster, attributed the early timing of the ceremony to the Dodgers’ anticipation of a limited audience. He further highlighted the choice of the opening pitch thrower for the game – the son of two well-known homosexual celebrities, Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley, further stoking controversy.