A fantastic new article from UC Berkeley student newspaper The Daily Californian chronicles how the same-sex relationship between two Christian sorority sisters forced them to leave their house and eventually led to the sorority being removed from campus.
The article — titled “Love Thy Sister” — tells about the unintentional consequences of Alpha Delta Chi sisters Kylie Foo and Sophia Chaparro each discovering their sexuality and entering into their first same-sex relationship. ADX is a nationally Christian sorority.
The full Daily Cal article is well worth a read and can be found here >>
Here’s when Foo and Chaparro realised their relationship would have ramifications for their sorority membership:
One week before they quietly became a couple at the end of spring 2012, Foo and Chaparro were elected chapter president and devotional chair, respectively. But some weeks later, during a time when they should have been thrilled about their new relationship and leadership positions, Foo and Chaparro were worried.
Both were struggling to reconcile their faith with their newly discovered sexual identities and, even more seriously, worried that their budding romance would be a conflict of interest because they now held the two top positions in the house.
Foo and Chaparro turned to ADX’s alumnae advisor, who in turn spoke with the national sorority to see if there were any conflicts of interest that could stem from the sisters’ relationship.
Eventually, The Daily Cal reports, the national sorority “decided that if the women continued their relationship, their ADX membership would be considered ‘delinquent’ … [and] could not be a part of the sorority at all if they remained in a same-sex relationship.” More specifically, Foo and Chaparro allegedly violated a sorority membership requirement that stated that sisters must embody a “willingness to avoid situations which would cause one’s brother or sister to stumble.”
“I just broke down, I couldn’t believe it. Especially because we came forward with such innocence and just asking for advice. Our immediate reaction was like, ‘This is so bad that everything that we worked for in terms of ADX has been taken from us,'” Chaparro said in a video interview with The Daily Cal.
Foo and Chaparro chose to deactivate from the sorority and continue their relationship — to the shock of many of their Berkeley sisters, who were both supportive of the couple and offended that their national organisation did not consult them.
As The Daily Cal reports:
A person close to the situation who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of what happened said that while opinions were split on the topic of homosexuality, none of the girls believed ADX’s national board had handled Chaparro and Foo’s coming out well.
“We all thought the (national board’s) measures were excessive, but really did not know what to do,” the source said in an email. “Even with the varying stances on homosexuality, we did not think the decision to kick them out was right and we all felt stuck as to what to do.”
After leaving ADX, Foo and Chaparro began to feel resentful of their treatment at the sorority, and began organising protests outside the house during rush week, according to The Daily Cal, when the sorority was recruiting new members. UC Berkeley has also severed ties with the sorority, warning ADX national that the organisation “was not in compliance with certain campus policies.
However, The Daily Cal reports, “Many people knowledgeable about the situation said the complaint from the campus cited policies prohibiting organisations from excluding members based on their religion, not policies aimed at preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation.”
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