The Dodgers had to ask for forgiveness.

They uninvited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a charitable drag group that dresses like nuns, to accept a “community hero award” on the field of Dodger Stadium at LGBTQ+ Pride Night on June 16.

Some Catholics complained they were offended by the group. They accused the sisters of being an “anti-Catholic hate group,” which “mocks the process of becoming a Catholic nun.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also weighed in.

“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 a statement.

But many others spoke up in favor of the group, including Congressman Robert García of Long Beach.

“At a time when the Dodgers should be embracing the strength of our diversity, they are instead trying to divide our LGBTQ+ community,” Garcia, the former Long Beach mayor, said in a statement. “Los Angeles is better than this cowardice and deserves better from the Dodgers. Our community should boycott this ‘pride night’ and protest this decision. We’ll see if they choose to be on the right side of history.” 

There was a swift backlash. LA Pride and the Los Angeles LGBT Center announced they would not participate in the Dodgers’ event and the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California also condemned the Dodgers.

A boycott was averted as the Dodgers issued an apology and a reversal of their decision.

“After much thoughtful feedback from our diverse communities, honest conversations within the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and generous discussions with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Los Angeles Dodgers would like to offer our sincerest apologies to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, members of the LGBTQ+ community and their friends and families,” a statement posted to Twitter read.

The sisters replied in their own Twitter statement that the apology was accepted.

“We believe the apology is sincere because the Dodgers have worked for 10 years with our community and as well they have asked us to continue an ongoing relationship with them.”

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, founded in San Francisco in 1979, were one of the first groups to fundraise and provide community outreach in response to the AIDS crisis. They have raised over $1 million for various causes impacting the LGBTQ+ community.

They added, “This affair has been an opportunity for learning with a silver lining.”

The Dodgers controversy happened as many states are moving to ban or restrict drag shows.

Tennessee was the first state in the country to ban drag performances in public spaces and anywhere in the presence of someone under 18 years old. The law was set to take effect April 1 and now is tied up in the courts. 

Under the Tennessee law, a first offense would be classified as a Class A misdemeanor and punishable by almost a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Subsequent offenses would be classified as a Class E felony and punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.

A dozen other states have proposed similar legislation against drag performances, including Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia

Target also removed some merchandise from its stores celebrating Pride Month after a backlash and reported threats against employees.

The right wing attacks on drag queens and the LGBTQ+ community must stop. June is Pride Month and it’s not just time for celebration. These attacks are a reminder that we have to speak up to protect and defend the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

Teresa Puente has spent her career reporting on immigration and Latino issues in the U.S. and has also reported extensively from Mexico. Previously, she was a staff reporter at the Chicago Tribune and...