As controversy continues to swirl around the religious overtones of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night, star pitcher and outspoken Christian Clayton Kershaw has stepped into the fray to voice his disapproval and announce the return of a separate celebration in which the team will honor the Christian faith.
The Dodgers’ Pride Night, which is set to take place on June 16, will honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group that satirically refers to itself as “a leading-edge Order of queer and trans nuns.” The decision to host the group has been sharply criticized by conservatives—particularly Catholic faith leaders who feel the group mocks their deeply held beliefs and traditions.
Members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence regularly dress as nuns in drag at demonstrations and community events. On Easter, the group hosted a “Hunky Jesus Contest,” which featured sparsely dressed contestants, including a pro-choice Mary of Nazareth.
After receiving pushback from conservatives and faith leaders, the Dodgers announced on May 17 that they had rescinded their invitation to the group. However, after a subsequent wave of backlash from LGBTQ+ advocates, the Dodgers announced on Monday, May 22, that they would rescind the rescission, offering apologies to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and reinviting them to the event.
Four days later on Friday, May 25, Kershaw announced that the team would host Christian Faith and Family Day in July.
“Excited to announce the relaunch of Christian Faith and Family Day at Dodger Stadium on July 30th,” Kershaw tweeted. “More details to come—but we are grateful for the opportunity to talk about Jesus and determined to make it bigger and better than it was before COVID. Hope to see you on July 30th!”
The Dodgers organization retweeted Kershaw’s announcement, adding, “Join us at Dodger Stadium on 7/30 for Christian Faith and Family Day. Stay after the game to celebrate and be part of a day of worship. Stay tuned for more details.”
The event is being revived after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a three-year hiatus.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kershaw revealed that his announcement of Christian Faith and Family Day was a direct response to the team’s decision to invite, and then re-invite, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to LGBTQ+ Pride Night.
“I think we were always going to do Christian Faith Day this year, but I think the timing of our announcement was sped up,” Kershaw told the Los Angeles Times. “Picking a date and doing those different things was part of it as well. Yes, it was in response to the highlighting of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence [by the Dodgers].”