Inside the Love Story That Changed the Gay Marriage Battle

Edith Windsor reflects on her life with late spouse, Thea Spyer, and the meaning of gay marriage

Friday’s Supreme Court decision making gay marriage a legal right in the U.S. is the culmination of work by many activists in the gay and lesbian community.

One of those unlikely activists is Edith Windsor, a feisty and loving former computer programmer who lived an ordinary and happy life, but whose legal battle for spousal rights led to the first high-court victory for gay marriage in 2013.

“I’m thrilled. I’m absolutely thrilled,” she said of the decision. “It’s not an end in itself, but it does give us an enormous amount of joy, and pleasure, and possibility. It’s another step on the way to total equality.”

Even in her joy, she spoke passionately about the many gay people who still suffer as a result of inequality: “Every gay person is not feeling that joy today. There are kids in the streets and people who are hungry and isolated, and hopefully we go next for total equality.”

After Windsor’s spouse Thea Spyer died in 2009, leaving Windsor her entire estate, Windsor fought for the spousal exemption to the estate tax that gay couples were denied under the Defense of Marriage Act. After hearing Windsor’s case, on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court found DOMA unconstitutional, thus ending the federal ban on gay marriage.

That decision was a huge win in itself, but it also paved the way for today’s victory for the LGBT movement. Partly due to the Supreme Court ruling in the Windsor case, several more states have since changed their marriage laws. Thirty-six states, home to more than 70% of Americans, now allow gay marriage.

In 2013, Windsor was one of TIME’s Persons of the Year. As part of that project, TIME’s deputy photo editor Paul Moakley created this lovely video of Windsor talking about photographs she and Spyer had taken over 40 years together. Their marriage in 2007 would ultimately change history, but their relationship is also an inspiring love story for any married couple.

“I think about Thea all the time. I think she would be thrilled with this,” Windsor told TIME after hearing Friday’s decision. “I never thought it could happen. I think it is glorious that it could happen. I think the wording of the decision is glorious. It really is the beginning of the ending of stigma. It is the beginning of teenagers who fall in love with a person knowing that they can marry — that they have futures. It is the beginning of kids not having to apologize to their families anymore because they can marry just like anybody else.”

Windsor thanked many people for their role in Friday’s court decision. She called Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the case, the gay movement’s “next hero.” “I thank Supreme Court for once again proving to me that the Constitution of this country does matter and that justice will prevail.”

TIME Education

University Survey Highlights Role of ‘Verbal Coercion’ in Sexual Assault

University administrators say they have a responsibility to protect students from all kinds of sexual misconduct

An internal survey at the University of Michigan of students’ experience with sexual misconduct found that more than 20% of undergraduate women had been touched, kissed or penetrated without their consent, prompting the university to use new tactics to address the problem.

University administrators were not surprised by the high level of reported misconduct, but they conducted the survey to identify particular areas for improvement. Ten percent of female undergraduates surveyed said they had experienced unwanted sexual conduct as a result of “verbal pressure,” an area administrators say now warrants greater focus.

“The role that verbal pressure and coercion play has not had the same national spotlight that sexual assault has had,” said Holly Rider-Milkovich, director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center at the University of Michigan.

In response to the survey results, the University of Michigan will expand the healthy sexual relationship training the school already holds for incoming freshmen to sophomores, juniors and seniors, so that they can address age-specific issues as students mature, Rider-Milkovich said.

Ever since the White House recommended anonymous sexual misconduct “climate” surveys in April of last year, they have been an important hallmark of reform at many colleges. Sexual assault is a vastly underreported crime and the surveys are designed to give a more realistic picture of what is happening on campus. The University of Michigan is one of the few colleges that have chosen to make its survey results public.

Though it is difficult to compare surveys that ask different questions on different campuses, there are similarities among the results at schools across the country.

In October, MIT published survey results that showed 17% of female undergraduates experienced unwanted sexual behaviors while at MIT, involving use of force, physical threat or incapacitation. The University of New Hampshire, a unique school in that it has been doing climate surveys for years, found in 2012 that 16% of its undergraduate women had experienced unwanted sexual contact or intercourse through force, threat or harm, or intoxication.

MORE: The Troubling Statistic in MIT’s Sexual-Assault Survey

Similar, external surveys have also produced somewhat similar findings. The 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Study conducted at two large public universities, one in the Midwest and one in the South, found that 19% of undergraduate women had experienced sexual misconduct, a study that has become the basis for the 1-in-5 statistic often cited by the White House and victims’ advocates. A recent Washington Post–Kaiser Family Foundation poll of a random sample of 1,053 women and men who were students at a four-year college, or had been at some point since 2011, found that 25% of young women experienced “unwanted sexual incidents” in college.

The surveys conducted by colleges often include a broad range of sexual misconduct, not just forcible rape, a wide net that Rider-Milkovich believes is important to capture all behavior that endangers students. The threshold for “verbal pressure” in the survey, she said, was deliberately high — defined to include: “telling lies, threatening to end the relationship, threatening to spread rumors about them, showing displeasure, criticizing your sexuality or attractiveness or getting angry.” The purpose of climate surveys, she said, is to figure out areas where the specific campus needs to focus new efforts.

Reform efforts at colleges across the country have included healthy sexual-relationship training for incoming freshmen, bystander-awareness training to teach students to step in to stop sexual assault, climate surveys and changes in college-disciplinary-board rules.

MORE: California Passes First-Ever Bill to Define Sexual Consent on College Campuses

At Michigan, Rider-Milkovich said the data shows that the real need on the campus is in “changing our cultural expectations, so that sex is something people engaged in when it is equally desired, not a goal that someone strives toward, regardless of objection.” At Michigan, she added, “We are really transforming how students think about way interact with each other. We will put everything we have towards that goal.”


Arson Suspected at Mainly Black Church in North Carolina

Church Fire Investigation briar creek
Davie Hinshaw—AP This June 24, 2015 photo shows the charred remains of the back left wing of Briar Creek Road Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.

An epidemic of arson against black churches happened as recently as the 1990's

Authorities in Charlotte, N.C. are investigating a fire at a predominantly black Baptist church as arson, the Charlotte Fire Department has said.

The Briar Creek Road Baptist Church’s co-pastors Mannix Kinsey and his wife Rhonda Kinsey, are African American, and most of the roughly 100 parishioners at the church are black, reports The Charlotte Observer. Investigators are looking into whether it may have been a hate crime.

Authorities are on high alert over possibly racially-motivated crimes after the murder of nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston on June 17th, and there is a long history of arson against black churches in the U.S. The most infamous may be the fire that killed four little black girls at a black church in Birmingham, Alabama in September of 1963, an event that brought widespread national attention to the civil rights movement.

But there was a spate of such crimes across the South in the 1990s. The U.S. Justice Department began an investigation in 1996 into a string of arson attacks against historically black churches in the south over a period of several months, including Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina.

TIME called it “a national epidemic of violence against black churches,” and reported on President Clinton’s visit to a burned and rebuilt church in Greeleyville, South Carolina, and on the Republican-led House passage of a bill that would make it easier for the federal government to prosecute the crimes.

Kinsey, the pastor of Briar Creek, told local media he hoped the fire was not motivated by racial hatred. “We are still talking about this same issue and this is 2015,” he said. “We all have to consider what else do we need to do to actually be able to work together.”

[Charlotte Observer]

TIME Drugs

How Much Does Marijuana Impact Your Driving?

A new federal study has answers

A rigorous federal research study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse offers new data on the effects of marijuana on driving performance.

The exact impact of marijuana on driving ability is a controversial subject—and it’s become more important states continue to loosen their drug laws. And, while drunk driving is on the decline in the U.S., driving after having smoked or otherwise consumer marijuana has become more common. According to the most recent national roadside survey from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of weekend nighttime drivers, 8.3 percent had some alcohol in their system and 12.6 percent tested positive for THC—up from 8.6 percent in 2007.

It is illegal in all states to drive under the influence of anything, but years of work went in to establishing the .08 breathe alcohol limit that exists in most states. The question is whether we can establish a similar threshold for pot.

To find out, the study recruited 18 occasional cannabis smokers, 13 of them men, between the ages 21 and 37. The participants took six 45-minute drives in a driving simulator—a 1996 Malibu sedan mounted in a 7.3 diameter dome—at the University of Iowa. Each drive tested a different combination of high or low concentration THC, alcohol, and placebos (to create a placebo, participants were given fruit juice with alcohol swabbed in the rim, topped of with 1ml alcohol, to mimic alcohol’s smell and taste).

The researchers looked at 250 parameters of driving ability, but this paper focused on three in particular: weaving within the lane, the number of times the car left the lane, and the speed of the weaving. While alcohol had an effect on the number of times the car left the lane and the speed of the weaving, marijuana did not. Marijuana did show an increase in weaving. Drivers with blood concentrations of 13.1 ug/L THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, showed increase weaving that was similar to those with a .08 breath alcohol concentration, the legal limit in most states. For reference, 13.1 ug/L THC is more than twice the 5 ug/L numeric limit in Washington and Colorado.

Dr. Marilyn Huestis, the principal investigator in the study, says it is important to note that the study looked at the concentration of THC in the driver’s system while they were driving. This is quite different from the concentration typically measured in a drugged driver out on the road, whose blood may not be checked until several hours after an arrest, allowing the THC level to drop considerably from the time they were driving.

Huestis says the researchers are looking at how to estimate how long it takes for THC concentrations in the blood to drop. Huestis believes that the 5 ug/L limit is not strict enough, particularly when you take into account those with low tolerance.

The study also found that pot and alcohol have more of an impact on driving when used together. Drivers who used both weaved within lanes, even if their blood THC and alcohol concentrations were below the threshold for impairment taken on their own. “We know cannabis is primarily found with a low dose of alcohol,” Huestis says. “Many young people have a couple beers and then cannabis.”

Smoking pot while drinking a little alcohol also increased THC’s absorption, making the high more intense. Similarly, THC delayed the peak of alcohol impairment, meaning that it tended to take longer for someone using both to feel drunk. Such data is important to educate the public about pot’s effects before they get on the road.

“I think this has added really good knowledge from a well-designed study to add to the current debate,” on marijuana’s effects on road safety, says Dr. Marilyn Huestis, the principal investigator in the study, which was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Read next: Here’s Why Marijuana Prices Appear to Be Dropping in Colorado

Listen to the most important stories of the day

TIME Crime

What We Know About South Carolina Shooting Suspect Dylann Roof

The 21-year-old white male suspect was caught Thursday morning

The chief suspect in the fatal shooting of nine people Wednesday night at a historic black church in South Carolina, who was arrested in North Carolina, has arrived back in the state and will be held at a detention center, the city’s police department said Thursday.

Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white man from Lexington, S.C., was identified by authorities on Thursday as the suspect. He reportedly spent an hour at a prayer meeting before opening fire, killing nine and injuring several others, at the Emanuel AME Church before fleeing. The Associated Press (AP) reports a florist driving to work saw a vehicle that matched the description of one publicized by authorities and then looked at the driver, whom she recognized from the news; the woman told her boss, who then contacted a police officer he knew, who then told the Shelby Police Department.

A spokeswoman for the Lexington County School District One confirms to TIME that Dylann Storm Roof, born April 3, 1994, attended White Knoll High School for less than two years, entering ninth grade in August 2008 and exiting in February 2010. He moved between at least three schools between fourth and eighth grades.

Roof was arrested twice earlier this year, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, which tells TIME he had been booked at the Lexington County Detention Center on Feb. 28 and April 26, after being arrested by the Columbia Police Department. Local reports have said he was arrested at least once on drug charges. NPR has published the incident reports from the February and April arrests, which took place at the Columbiana mall in Columbia, S.C.

A Facebook page in the name of Dylann Roof, featuring a photo released by Berkeley County authorities in South Carolina, suggests the suspect attended White Knoll High School and was from the city of Columbia.

In the picture featured on the Facebook page, he is wearing a jacket bearing images of the flags of apartheid-era South African and the Republic of Rhodesia, the name for Zimbabwe when it was run by a postcolonial white minority in the 1970s.

A man identifying himself as Roof’s uncle, Carson Cowles, 56, told Reuters that Roof’s father had recently given him a .45-caliber handgun as a birthday present. “I actually talked to him on the phone briefly for just a few moments and he was saying, ‘Well, I’m outside practicing with my new gun,'” he said.

Derrick Pearson, a former classmate of the suspect told the Independent that Roof “mostly kept to himself.” An AP report citing a man who identified himself as an old friend of Roof, named Joseph Meek Jr., said Roof had recently made racist comments against African Americans that had come out of nowhere.

Joseph Meek Jr, a childhood friend who apparently saw Roof on the morning of the shooting, told the AP that Roof had ranted that “blacks were taking over the world [and] someone needed to do something about it for the white race.”

Roof’s roommate Dalton Tyler told ABC News that the suspected shooter “wanted to start a civil war” and had been “planning something like that for six months.”

Roof has been taken into custody in Shelby, N.C., where he was “cooperative” with officers. On Thursday afternoon, AP reported, Roof waived extradition and was going back to South Carolina.

TIME Higher Education

A Controversial Proposal to Fix Fraternities: Keep the Women Out

The latest proposal in the fight to end sexual assault on campus

The University of Missouri in Columbia is considering an alumni group’s idea to ban women from fraternity houses on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

The idea was included in a series of proposed changes entitled “Safety of Women Students in Fraternity Houses,” which was submitted by the MU Fraternity Alumni Consortium and leaked last week. The consortium is not an official alumni group of the university, a university spokesman said, but the group has been working with the administration on ways to improve Greek life over the past several years.

MORE: Crisis on Fraternity Row

In addition to prohibiting women from entering fraternities between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, the proposal also suggests disallowing fraternities from hosting social events outside of Columbia, Mo., restricting the alcohol that can be served at fraternities to beer, and requiring fraternities and sororities to conduct mandatory drug tests. Most national sororities already do not permit alcohol in sorority houses.

After the proposal leaked, students took to social media to complain. The university is hosting a summit on June 20 to discuss the proposal and solicit input from student leaders in the Greek community. “Nothing has been finalized yet,” said Christian Basi, a university spokesman. “The perception among Greek students that the proposals were final is not the case.”

The proposals at Missouri come after a period of heightened scrutiny on the problem of sexual assault on campus and the misbehavior of members of the Greek community, particularly fraternities.

MORE: 3 Ways to Fix Fraternities

In a statement released by the Panhellenic Association, which represents sororities, and Interfraternity Council at Missouri, the Greek councils expressed concern about the proposals, writing that they “strongly [disagree] with several of the policies proposed.”

TIME Higher Education

Study of Canadian University Women Shows Training Program Reduced Risk of Rape

Women trained in self defense and risk assessment were less likely to be victims a year after

A training program designed to teach first-year college women how to resist sexual assault showed substantial reduction in risk of completed rape during their first year of school, a new study conducted at three Canadian universities showed.

For college women, the risk of sexual assault is highest during the first two years. The results of the study suggest that for every 22 women who are educated in the training program, one rape would be prevented in the year after the students participate.

The study, published by the New England Journal of Medicine, was a randomized controlled trial conducted at three Canadian universities. The researchers recruited first-year female students, aged 17-24, by emailing and calling women who were registered for psychology courses and posting flyers around campus.

Read More: This Is the New Frontier in the Fight Against Campus Rape

A randomly selected control group of 442 women were assigned to a session where they were given access to brochures on sexual assault, a standard university practice. The other 451 women were assigned to receive a training program that included four three-hour sessions, in small groups of 23 or less, teaching the women to “assess risk from acquaintances, overcome emotional barriers in acknowledging danger, and engage in effective verbal and physical self defense.”

The researchers followed up with the women after six months, then a year. At the one-year mark, the women who received the resistance training were less likely to have fallen victim to completed rape than the control group, with 5.2% self-reporting victimization vs. 9.8% in the control group. The risk reduction was even greater for attempted rape, with a ratio of 3.4% in the group who got the training, compared with 9.3% in the group who did not.

The study acknowledged some limitations. A disproportionate number of women with prior victimization participated in study, a group that is at higher risk for recurrence of sexual assault; and the study required self-reporting, which can introduce bias. The study’s authors also pointed out that more work needs to be done to identify effective interventions to change male behavior, and that universities might not have the resources to ensure full participation in such a comprehensive training program.

TIME Careers & Workplace

Find Out If Your Personality Fits Your Job

Employers are increasingly turning to new forms of testing to audition candidates

As the class of 2015 heads out into the work force this summer, they are going to have their heads examined by the companies they hope to work for. Convinced by the gurus of Big Data that a perfect work force can be achieved by analyzing the psyche and running the results through computers, thousands of employers now insist that job candidates submit to personality tests. The phenomenon spans the pay scale from burger-flipping to high finance. And the questions range from the intrusive (“I dislike the high taxes we pay in this country,”) to the positively bizarre (“Sometimes I’m not sure what I really believe.”)

In a cover story for this week’s magazine, TIME explores the growing $2 billion testing industry. Employers say the tests are a critical tool in fighting costly employee turnover, increasing productivity, and raising customer satisfaction.

Want to know what the new kinds of tests are like? Below, we’ve reproduced parts of three personality tests created by Hogan Assessments, an assessment provider which has worked with companies since 1987.

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