Catholic leaders declared victory after thousands turned out to protest the Los Angeles Dodgers for honoring a troupe of drag queens who dress like “nuns,” while the award ceremony itself was sparsely attended.
The team presented its Community Hero Award ahead of Friday night’s game to members of the Los Angeles chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence before a smattering of fans at Dodger Stadium, as shown in video footage posted afterward.
Outside the stadium, a crowd estimated in the thousands turned up for a “prayerful processional” and rally in the stadium parking lot organized by Catholics for Catholics featuring a host of prominent Catholic speakers, including Bishop Joseph Strickland of the diocese of Tyler, Texas.
“HUGE SUCCESS! Prayer Rally Officially Concludes. Over 5K strong!! Massive outpouring!” tweeted Catholics for Catholics, who helped organize the procession.
Local news stations in Los Angeles estimated that “thousands” turned out for the event, which was billed as a procession, not a protest.
HUGE!!!! VICTORY!! PRAYER WINS!!! https://t.co/QxtZswLefN
— Catholics for Catholics (@CforCatholics) June 17, 2023
The stadium filled up for the evening game against the San Francisco Giants, with some fans wearing rainbow jerseys for the team’s Pride Night, but attendance fell short of last year’s Pride Night, according to the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
“I am happy to say that our effort paid off. There was almost no one in the stands when the ‘Sisters’ received their award. And the few who were there booed,” said league president Bill Donohoe. “This is a sweet victory.”
He said 49,074 fans attended the Pride Night game, fewer than the 52,505 fans who turned up for last year’s Pride Night event. The average attendance this year at Friday night games is 50,592.
Mr. Donohoe compared the protest to the backlash against Anheuser-Busch and Target Corp. over their pro-transgender messaging.
“What happened on June 16 is a cultural marker,” said Mr. Donohoe. “Just like Bud Light, Target and other establishment organizations that have laid anchor with extremists, the Dodgers—and Major League Baseball in general—found out that the elites do not have the last word. The people do. In the end, indecency and bigotry were defeated.”
Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Night at Dodger Stadium presented by Blue Shield of California. pic.twitter.com/XR3oo7aXqb
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 17, 2023
The Dodgers posted photos of Pride Night at the stadium, including a decorated pitching mound and a photo of team officials with members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a self-described “order of queer and trans nuns” that has been accused of mocking Catholics.
“Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Night at Dodger Stadium presented by Blue Shield of California,” tweeted the Dodgers.
The drag-queen group was commended by the team for its community service, which includes fundraising for LGBTQ causes and organizations.