The least serious thing that happened to the Los Angeles Dodgers over “Pride Night” weekend, June 16-18, was to lose all three games to the San Francisco Giants; the Dodgers scored a total of 8 runs; the Giants scored 29. The worst thing that happened was being trashed by Catholics, tarring their reputation.
In the five weeks prior to the June 16 game, we conducted a relentless campaign against the Dodgers for inviting, disinviting, and reinviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a vile anti-Catholic group of drag queen bigots.
Our campaign began on May 16. That was the day we asked our huge list of email subscribers to contact Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball (MLB). They did so in droves, bombarding him with criticism; MLB had given its blessings to the event.
The next day, May 17, the Dodgers disinvited the “Sisters.” We were delighted with the outcome, but Bill Donohue warned the staff that given that the game was about a month away, it was possible the Dodgers might succumb to pressure from the large LGBT community in Los Angeles. Over the weekend they did.
On May 22, the Dodgers reinvited the “Sisters,” apologizing for disinviting them. Donohue immediately got to work preparing a report on the anti-Catholic activities of the drag queens since 1979. On May 23, the report was made available to the public.
On May 24, we started our campaign in earnest. We did a massive mail campaign, sending the report to over 300 parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, asking pastors to pass the word about not attending the June 16 game.
In the weeks that followed, we did not walk away from this issue. We contacted Catholic schools and universities in the archdiocese; residences of priests and brothers; endowments, foundations and trusts; retreat houses; hospitals and healthcare systems; seminaries; convents and residences for women. In every case, we sent the report and our plea to boycott the June 16 game.
We also hit the public airwaves. Two weeks before the game, we ran 25 ads, 30 seconds each, imploring Catholics not to attend the game. We did the same thing the week of the game. Our media blitz on KABC radio caught the eye of the Los Angeles Times, which ran a story on our initiative. Moreover, Donohue did multiple TV, radio, newspaper, and internet interviews on the controversy.
Almost no one showed up for the ceremony honoring the “Sisters,” and our goal of driving down the attendance from last year’s “Pride Night” game was realized (there were 3,500 less this year).
We did our job. The Dodgers lost. Message delivered.