What happens when two women join a Christian sorority, rise to leadership positions within it, and then begin a relationship?
At the UC Berkeley chapter of Alpha Delta Chi, that’s what happened to Kylie Foo and Sophia Chaparro in the spring of 2012. Their decision to be open about their relationship began a chain reaction that led to the sorority’s national board ultimately forcing the members of the group to choose between their charter and their sisters. Sara Grossman does a remarkable job telling the story in The Daily Californian:
[ADX’s national board president Casey] Chan, along with National Adviser Liaison Susan Potter, had decided that if the women continued their relationship, their ADX membership would be considered “delinquent.” It wasn’t even a matter of Chaparro and Foo holding leadership positions — they could not be a part of the sorority at all if they remained in a same-sex relationship.
Apparently, they were in violation of an ADX membership requirement stating that all sisters must embody a “willingness to avoid situations which would cause one’s brother or sister to stumble.”
Foo, at the Acropolis in Athens, called Chaparro, who was at an airport in Ireland, sobbing. Their community — and their faith — had rejected them.
Many of their sorority sisters, to their credit, stood by their side during the whole ordeal, even if some had mixed feelings about homosexuality, but it’s very telling to see the actions of some Christians in the story who had the chance to show love and compassion but chose instead to showcase bigotry. It’s beyond my ability to understand how anyone could see a couple that happy together and say that God hates that. That’s the power of religion for you: It motivates some people to do incredible things… and simultaneously makes it easier for others to treat their fellow human beings as second class citizens.
You can read the rest of the article to see how this all played out.