A Major League Baseball team has drawn criticism from the LGBT community for inviting a Christian speaker who has publicly expressed his opposition to transgender bathrooms.
The St. Louis Cardinals have invited former player Lance Berkman to appear at their annual Christian Day, a post-game event where public figures speak about the impact of Christianity in their lives.
In 2015, Berkman opposed a Houston city ordinance that allowed individuals to use showers, toilets, changing areas, and locker rooms opposite their biological gender, Life Site News reported. In an interview, the former baseball player said he believes the ordinance tramples public liberty for the whims of the few.
The news about Cardinal's invitation to Berkman drew criticisms from the LGBT community.
The "Pride Center" of St. Louis expressed its disappointment over the Cardinals' decision to host Berkman and called on the team to cancel his appearance at the event.
"Pride St. Louis is disappointed by the decision of the St. Louis Cardinals to provide a public platform for Berkman, an individual whose words and actions towards the LGBTQ+ are divisive and demeaning," the statement from the group said, according to The Daily Caller.
The Pride Center also offered to help the baseball team organize an LGBT Pride event at Busch Stadium.
In response, the Cardinals issued a statement defending Christian Day and it's decision to invite Berkman to speak at the event.
"Lance Berkman participated in Christian Day when he was a Cardinals player, and we welcome him back this year to discuss his faith," the statement from the Cardinals read.
"As an organization, the Cardinals have always been committed to bringing like-minded groups together to share in the unifying experience of Cardinals baseball. We are an inclusive organization with a social responsibility to be welcoming to all types of people and organizations," it added.
The Cardinals also pointed out that it has hosted a variety of events such as Jewish Community Night, Catholic Family Night, Bosnian Heritage Night, Fiesta Cardenales, and many others. The team announced that it will be hosting its first Pride Night for members of the LGBT community later this season.
The Cardinals' Christian Day, which has been held annually for nearly 30 years, has been scheduled for July 30 this year. During the event, baseball fans in some cities bring food and groceries to support military families.