LGBT groups in St. Louis , Mo. are hoping organizers of "Christian Night at Busch Stadium" next month say "you're out!" to retired All-Star Lance Berkman.
The scheduled appearance of the 41-year-old designated hitter and former Cardinal, who once said "tolerance is the virtue that's killing this country," is also casting a pall over the city's first ever LGBT Pride Night scheduled for August,
"We are beyond disappointed that the Cardinals would host Lance Berkman at 'Christian Night' at Busch Stadium,'' Steph Perkins, executive director of Promoting Equality for All Missourians, wrote in a text Friday. "Berkman is known for his anti-LGBT views, particularly an anti-transgender TV ad opposing Houston's nondiscrimination ordinance, where he called transgender women 'troubled men.' These are not the values of St. Louis, and we sincerely hope these are not the values of the St. Louis Cardinals."
Perkins wasn't alone in his disapproval of Berkman. Pride St. Louis weighed in on the matter as well, writing: "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 LGBT are divisive and demeaning . . . "
Berkman released a statement to Newsday last week claiming that his stance against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was taken "to preserve the rights of my wife, daughters, and thousands of other women in Houston restrooms and locker rooms without the presence of a biological male.''
He also claimed that he is not opposed to the LGBT community. "I don't think there's any doubt that people are born with proclivity to be homosexual.''
In addition to the Bergman matter, Cyd Zeigler of LGBT website OutSports took aim at the Cardinals organization and the poor planning of their upcoming Pride Night scheduled for August. "Pride Night ticket holders aren't congregated in one area but will be spread out throughout the ballpark, which tells you the team doesn't have any idea what it's doing in hosting a Pride Night and have simply thrown this together to pay lip service to our community."
Ziegler added: "You literally could not pay me to attend this Pride Night until the Cardinals announce they are replacing Berkman as their Christian Day speaker, and I hope the entire LGBT community stays away from this night until they do."