ANAHEIM (CNS) - Anaheim's mayor has invited a group of queer and transgender nuns that was disinvited from the Los Angeles Dodgers' annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night to be her guest at the Los Angeles Angels' upcoming pride night.
"I'm inviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to join me for @Angels Pride Night at Anaheim Stadium on June 7," Mayor Ashleigh Aitken tweeted Saturday. "Pride should be inclusive and like many, I was disappointed in the Dodgers decision."
Neither the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence nor the Angels immediately responded to a request for comment Sunday. It was not clear whether the group would accept the invitation, or whether they would have any official participation in the team's June 7 event.
"I think it was a missed opportunity to really err on the side of being inclusive and err on the side of standing up for our marginalized communities, especially on the eve of Harvey Milk Day, especially on the eve of Pride Month," Aitken told ABC7 of the Dodgers' decision to revoke their invitation.
The Dodgers' decision, announced Wednesday, came after complaints raised by several Catholic organizations and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who said the group -- billed as an "order of queer and trans nuns" -- regularly disparaged Christians.
"This year, as part of a full night of programming, we invited a number of groups to join us," according to a statement issued by the team. "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."
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 issued a statement Thursday expressing "deep offense" at being uninvited to the event, calling the decision a capitulation to "hateful and misleading information from people outside their community." The group insisted it is a nonprofit organization that "annually raises thousands of dollars to distribute to organizations supporting marginalized communities."
"Our ministry is real. We promulgate universal joy, expiate stigmatic guilt and our use of religious trappings is a response to those faiths whose members would condemn us and seek to strip away the rights of marginalized communities," Sister Rosie Partridge, described as the "abbess" of the group, said in a statement.
Other high-profile Southland supporters of LGBTQ rights also chimed in, expressing disappointment in the Dodgers' decision.
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 said he wrote to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to protest the Dodgers' decision to honor the group.
Rubio also sent a complaint 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 giving an award to 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 group's inclusion in the Dodgers' event. 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.
On Wednesday night, Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath blasted the team for disinviting the Sisters.
"If they're not invited, I'm not going," she wrote on her Twitter page. "Celebrating Pride is about inclusion. Do better."