TIME Education

Wesleyan Will Make Frats Be Co-Ed

With campus sexual assault under the microscope nationwide

Wesleyan University said Monday that campus fraternity groups will soon be required to admit both men and women, a change that followed a lawsuit by a student saying she was raped at a frat party and that came amid growing scrutiny of colleges’ efforts to combat campus sexual assault.

“With equity and inclusion in mind, we have decided that residential fraternities must become fully co-educational over the next three years,” top university officials said in an email to the university community.

“If the organizations are to continue to be recognized as offering housing and social spaces for Wesleyan students, women as well as men must be full members and well-represented in the body and leadership of the organization,” said the email from Joshua Boger and Michael S. Roth, the chair and president of the Board of Trustees, respectively.

The move comes after a student filed a lawsuit saying she was raped in 2o13 at a fraternity party, and that multiple party attendees watched. The email said the school had been considering what to do about Greek life at Wesleyan for years, and received input over the summer from students, faculty and alumni.

Other schools like Trinity College have made similar changes in recent years (though not without student protest). The Wesleyan website reads, “Greek life is small at Wes.” There are a small number of fraternities on campus, some with houses and some without. There is only one sorority and it does not have a house. The school already has other co-ed societies.

Read the email here.

TIME equality

These Are the Best and Worst States for Women’s Job Equality

Women in D.C. have a median income of $60,000

Washington, D.C., is the best place for women’s workforce equality in the U.S., according to new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

 

MAP
Courtesy of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research

 

According to the report, women in the District have a median annual income of $60,000, which is double the median income of women in West Virginia, the state ranked lowest in women’s employment and earnings. Each state was given a letter grade based on the median annual income of women who work full time, the earnings ratio between full-time men and women, the percent of women in the labor force and the percent of women in managerial or professional occupations. In each category, the District of Columbia ranked first, with neighboring state Maryland nabbing the second highest ranking in percent of employed women and median annual income.

Among the other top-ranking states: Minnesota, Colorado, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey.

“Top ranked states are doing a better job of making use of women’s economic contributions,” Heidi Hartmann,President of IWPR, said in a release about the report, “Ensuring women have access to training and education, working to place women in top jobs.”

She adds, “While these factors impact women individually, they also contribute to overall economic growth and strong economies in these states. Public policies also make a difference and voters and candidates should pay attention to these results.”

The majority of the 14 states that received the lowest ranking were in the South: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee all joined West Virginia in receiving grades of D+ or lower. The report came out ahead of the IWPR’s 2015 report on the Status of Women in the States.

TIME equality

What Our Culture of Overwork Is Doing to Mothers

Zia Soleil—Getty Images

Just as women were catching up to men in the workplace, the rules changed again

A slew of new research suggests that equality between the sexes, the rise of which seemed to stop in the ’90s like a three-day old helium balloon, is back in the ascendant. But it also suggests women aren’t paid as much as men because of the longer hours that are now required of employees to get ahead.

In one of several papers released for an online symposium on gender balance by the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF), researchers analyzed data from the General Social Survey, which monitors attitudes in the U.S. toward various social trends. They found that after a negative turn in the late 1990s and early 2000s, attitudes toward working mothers had become more positive in recent years. In 2012 fewer people believed that working mothers were less ideal than stay-at-home mothers, had a lower chance of bonding with their children and that their preschool kids suffered for their absence.

In one of the biggest changes, only a third of the people surveyed in 2012 (down from 42% in 2000) think that the best type of family set-up is the so-called traditional one: where the father is the breadwinner and the mother is the one who turns it into little sandwiches with the crusts cut off then cleans it all up afterward.

But according to researchers at Indiana University Bloomington (IU), changes in heart about working mothers are only a subsection of the path leading to equal pay. In a little-noticed study published in April’s issue of the American Sociological Review, the authors pointed to the culture of “overwork” as one of the drivers of lower pay for women. “One reason for the stall in gender equity during the 1990s was a change in typical work weeks and remuneration patterns,” wrote Youngjoo Cha, assistant professor of sociology at IU in a companion brief for the CCF symposium. “This period saw a significant rise in ‘overwork,’ the practice of consistently working 50 hours or more a week, along with a dramatic increase in the financial incentives for working long hours.”

Cha’s research suggests that, along with the higher rewards offered, higher expectations for productivity have been placed on salaried workers. Because mothers, who tend to be the primary parents, feel pressure to be at home and with their children, they sometimes cannot find the extra 10 to 15 hours in their week to keep up with these expectations, nor can they reap the rewards. ‘These trends may have encouraged some couples to revert to a more traditional division of labor, by increasing the likelihood of wives’ quitting their jobs and prioritizing husbands’ careers,” writes Cha.

Moreover the “overwork” trend creates a bit of a vicious cycle, in which those who cannot keep up with the pace, but do not wish to, or cannot afford to leave full-time employment get seen as lazy or less productive. Sociologist Joan Williams refers to the new “ideal worker norm,” in which employees are expected to be available around the clock on any day of the week, whether by email or phone or in person. “Those who do not work long hours, or those who take time off from work for family responsibilities,” says Cha, “are viewed as uncommitted, not serious about their careers, and lacking in loyalty to the organization.” So they tend to get left high and dry when promotion and bonus time comes around.

“As of 2007, 17% of men, but only 7% of women were working 50 or more hours a week,” writes Cha in the report. The “overpay” that the mostly men are receiving for their “overwork” could account for as much as 10% of the pay gap since 2007.

The upshot is, that while attitudes toward mothers who work outside the home may have softened, there seems to be a keep-up or shut-up system in place at the office. This doesn’t just affect women of course, but, as even successful women can tell you, the social penalties for being an too-busy-to-parent father are much lower than those for the too-busy-to-be-parent mother.

It wasn’t all grim news on the gender front though. The gap between the views of liberals and conservatives on the role of mothers has been narrowing, for one. “In fact, during the ‘restart’ of the gender revolution in the 2000s the greatest increase in the extent of egalitarian views has occurred among conservatives,” writes David Cotter, professor and chair of sociology at Union College in New York, one of the authors of the study on attitudes toward working moms.

And from the home office, a happy bulletin. That whole when-housework-is shared-there’s-no-nooky story that made waves recently? That’s based on old data, according to another paper. When looking at data from 2006 “couples who shared domestic labor had sex at least as often, and were at least as satisfied with the frequency and quality of their sex, as couples where the woman did the bulk of the housework,” wrote Sharon Sassler, a professor in policy analysis and management at Cornell University. “It’s good news for couples, not bad, that men have more than doubled the amount of housework they do since the 1960s.”

TIME Sports

YouTube Celebration of LGBT Athletes Signals Turning Tide in Sports

The video-sharing website will celebrate Gay Pride with a #ProudToPlay campaign, another sign that the long-held divide between two communities is eroding.

When we started Outsports.com in 1999 nobody wanted to talk about gay people in sports. Gay athletes like Corey Johnson and Esera Tuaolo were coming out in a trickle. Sports journalists didn’t want to ask questions about the subject. Straight people thought gay men couldn’t play sports; Heck, gay people thought gay men didn’t want to play sports.

Fifteen years later, that has transformed. Athletes are flooding out of the closet. The LGBT community has embraced sports, and some of our greatest sports institutions have welcomed gay athletes.

Now YouTube – the most powerful multi-media company in the world – has dedicated its entire celebration of Gay Pride to sports.

This is no accident.

Sure, sports are a hot topic with the coming out of high-profile athletes like Michael Sam, Jason Collins, Brittney Griner and Derrick Gordon. Yet YouTube’s embracing of LGBT sports is much more than a celebration of the flavor du jour. It reflects a changing tide in the sports world that just weeks or months ago many thought “impossible.”

Sports and the gay community are now forever joined at the hip.

For decades we’ve focused on what drives a wedge between the sports world and the LGBT community. Yet these two cultural powerhouses have long exemplified the same core values. Courage. Heroism. Inner strength. Good, plain fun.

It’s no surprise these are the same values drawing big companies to embrace the LGBT sports movement. While we’ve been told for years that big-name athletes coming out in sports risk losing endorsement deals, the opposite has been true.

When Collins and Griner came out, Nike embraced them. Nike has even created a gay-pride-themed campaign, #BeTrue, that helps fund the LGBT Sports Coalition, a group of people aimed at ending anti-LGBT bias in sports.

When Sam came out, endorsement offers poured in. Visa stepped up to the plate in May with a commercial featuring Sam just before the Draft.

Now YouTube is wrapping its arms around LGBT athletes with their powerful #ProudToPlay campaign. It’s not just a nod to the importance of sports in the LGBT community: It’s a bold statement of the importance of sports in our movement’s journey. Last year their campaign revolved around the theme of “love.” This year, for YouTube, sports embodies not just the struggle of LGBT athletes, but the pride of the entire community.

For the last decade, the advancement of gay rights in America has gone hand-in-hand with the transforming culture in sports. The big-time macho sports like football, basketball, baseball, soccer and hockey have long been the bellwethers for masculinity in America. Shifting the attitudes in these sports has been instrumental not just in opening the sports themselves to LGBT people, but opening minds in general.

When a high school soccer player comes out in Indiana and introduces the team to her girlfriend, her teammates celebrate victories with them both.

When an NFL draftee kisses his boyfriend on national television and is introduced by the St. Louis Rams three days later, it becomes a lot harder for people on the outskirts of the Bible belt to support Missouri’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

And when YouTube engages gay and straight athletes of the highest profile to share their support for equality, every single person on the Internet listens. Sports culture – American culture – shifts.

Fifteen years ago, sports and the LGBT community weren’t just on opposite teams, they were playing on different courts all together.

Now LGBT pioneers like Harvey Milk, politico David Mixner and Stonewall veterans like the recently deceased Storme DeLarverie have passed the ball to LGBT athletes and sports activists like Anna Aagenes, Brittney Griner, Anthony Nicodemo, Chris Mosier and so many other members of the LGBT Sports Coalition.

YouTube’s celebration of that transition, along with other companies like Nike, brings the triumphant conclusion of the entire LGBT-rights movement a whole lot closer.

Zeigler is co-founder and editor of Outsports.com.

TIME faith

Watchmen on the Wall: Pastors Prepare to Take Back America

FRCAction and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, speaks during the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, on Oct. 11, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
FRCAction and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, speaks during the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, on Oct. 11, 2013, in Washington, D.C. Jose Luis Magana—AP

A group of pastors fears the United States is losing its Christian heritage, and they came to Washington to be encouraged to stand firm.

On the evening of May 21, a group of fifty pastors stood soaking wet in the Capitol rotunda, undeterred by the rainstorm outside. Beneath the giant painting Baptism of Pocahontas, David Barton, an evangelical advocate for what he believes is the besieged Christian heritage of the United States, was holding forth on the nation’s spiritual history. Pocahontas, he was saying, really wanted to be known by the Christian name Rebecca, but America’s politically correct textbooks insist on calling her Pocahontas. President James Garfield, he continued, preached one day and 34 people accepted Jesus as their savior. The Capitol building’s Statuary Hall used to be a chapel, he added, and remember, “This is a government building.”

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) walked up and hugged Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael, who was in the group, murmuring his ‘Amens’ as Barton spoke. When he gets discouraged with the state of politics or the country, Lee said, he likes to make a late night pilgrimage though the Rotunda and look at all the paintings and statues to be reminded of America’s early religious life. “That really is what the American dream is all about,” he said. “We are a shining city on a hill but we have to resume acting like that shining city.” The group applauded, and then closed their tour with a blessing for the country: “God Bless America,” they sang, many with hands outstretched and eyes closed in prayer.

The pastors had come to the nation’s capital as part of the annual “Watchmen on the Wall” Washington briefing, a conference sponsored by the Family Research Council to connect pastors with policy makers and legislators and to encourage the pastors to advocate for those Biblical values FRC believes should be advanced in America. This year’s event, held May 21-23, marked the 11th year of the program, and more than 650 people from a total of 42 states attended, including 500 pastors and their wives. Nearly half were repeat participants, and most come from conservative or evangelical congregations.

Watchmen on the Wall is FRC’s network of 28,000 pastors nationwide. A “Watchman” pastor is one who has committed to watch what goes on in the culture, pray for wisdom to engage the culture and sound the alarm of perceived cultural transgressions from the pulpit. The group gets its name from a passage in the Old Testament book of Isaiah: “I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest.”

This year’s briefing focused on defending the idea that marriage only should exist between a man and woman and on countering what many conservative Christians believe are widespread attacks on Christian religious liberty. “There is an all-out assault on Biblical marriage, with judges overturning the will of the vast majority of voters in some states […] Religious organizations and Christian-owned businesses are being forced to provide insurance plans that cover abortions and abortion-inducing drugs or face fines and punishment…and the list goes on,” FRC president Tony Perkins wrote in a welcome letter to attendees. “It would appear that lawlessness has been unleashed upon our country and culture as we witness an unprecedented and outrageous abuse of power by governing authorities.”

The conference brought together 46 speakers, including Duck Dynasty’s Al Robertson, Sen. Ted Cruz’s father Rafael, Franklin Graham, Tony Evans, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI). Pastors pay $199 to attend, and FRC pays an additional $800 per pastor, bringing this year’s total cost to near half a million dollars. But all of that is worth it, organizers say, to guide Americans toward what the FRC says is the correct Biblical path. “The cure is to be found in a return to the God of the Bible,” explained Perkins. “Now, more than ever, America’s Bible-preaching pastors must serve as the spiritual catalysts for this radical return to God, first in the Church and then as the leaders on the front lines of our communities in this struggle for the heart and soul of America.”

The conference walks the line between prophetic ministry and political engagement. Watchmen provides pastors with a Voter Impact Toolkit, created by FRC, Focus on the Family, and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, designed to get like-minded believers to the ballot box. FRC also provides pastors with a Culture Impact manual, with policy goals including action steps like, “Do not misuse civil rights laws to protect homosexual conduct and gender identity disorder.”

The pastors, for their part, say they are grateful for these practical resources and for the encouragement the event gives them to press on with their goals. Jack Hibbs, founder and pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, Calif., has been involved with the Watchmen movement since the beginning. He worries the United States has become a nation of intolerance for Christians, especially when it comes to changing public opinion about sexuality. His church helped to file a referendum to repeal California’s AB1266, commonly called the transgender bathroom law. “As pastors, we need to stand up for what’s right,” he says. “I’m not here to make this a Christian nation, but I believe that freedom should be for everybody.”

J.C. Church, pastor of Victory in Truth Ministries in northeastern Ohio, helped to develop Awake88, a pastoral network throughout all of Ohio’s 88 counties, and is reaching out to the state’s Latino community. Church, like others in the Watchmen leadership, see Latino evangelicals as key allies in their fight, especially given their shared views on the nature of the family. “There is an absolute undeniable attack and a hostility toward Christianity, we have a double standard, tolerance is supposed to be a two-way street,” he says. “We believe that anything that threatens the biblical definition of family, faith, and freedom, are the things that we are finding that pastors will meet and work together on.”

The Watchmen views may be unpopular as the country increasingly supports marriage equality and believes religion is losing its public influence, but that’s all the more reason the Watchmen are gearing up for a fight, the pastors say. For many of them, the battle goes beyond politics: it is spiritual warfare. As senior FRC fellow E.W. Jackson preached to the gathering, the ACLU and the Foundation for the Freedom from Religion, in trying to stop Christian prayer at public events, represent a movement “not simply [of] human beings who disagree with us—it is demonic power moving to shut down the power of God.” Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) reminded the group that their place in the country is still significant. “The foundation of the American dream is the Judeo-Christian foundation,” he said. “But if our pastors don’t ignite our pews we may lose this unique anointing we have as a country.”

FRC hopes to grow the Watchmen to 40,000 pastors by 2015, just as the battle for the White House begins to heat up. “They may call us racists, Uncle Toms and what they will, but Jesus said, ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you,’” Jackson said. “You have read the back of the Book like I have—you know that we win.” The auditorium leapt to its feet in applause.

TIME faith

United Church of Christ Sues North Carolina to Allow Gay Marriage

It's the first time for a national Christian denomination to sue in favor of same-sex marriage, citing restricted freedom of religion. Currently ministers who marry couples without a marriage license can face misdemeanor charges punishable by up to 120 days in jail

When Kathleen Smith and Lisa Cloninger got engaged last October, they hoped to get married at Holy Covenant United Church of Christ. It was after all, their religious community and the church that had been their home for their 13-year relationship. But there was a problem: Holy Covenant is in Charlotte, North Carolina, a state that does not allow ministers to perform legal same-sex marriages. Ministers who do marry a couple that has not yet obtained a marriage license can face misdemeanor charges punishable by up to 120 days in jail.

On Monday morning, Holy Covenant’s denomination, the United Church of Christ (UCC), along with ministers of other Charlotte area congregations including a rabbi, filed a lawsuit challenging state marriage laws for restricting ministers’ free exercise of religion. The UCC is also seeking preliminary injunction that would allow ministers to choose whether to perform a religious marriage. The case appears to be the first time a national Christian denomination has challenged a state’s marriage laws.

The lawsuit has been in the works since 2012, when North Carolina voters approved Amendment One, a constitutional ban on gay marriage, with 61% of the vote. State laws prevent ministers from performing weddings if the couple does not already have a marriage license, and so religious wedding ceremonies are at odds with the law even if ministers are not sanctioning civil marriages.

Earlier this spring, the UCC, the lead plaintiff, reached out to local congregations, including Holy Covenant, to ask pastors if any church members might be candidates to join the suit. Three other couples from other churches have joined the Smith-Cloningers, and the group is suing the state’s attorney general Roy Cooper as well as other county district attorneys and registers of deeds.

The effort is part of the UCC’s long history of social justice advocacy. The mainline Protestant denomination—President Barack Obama’s own church denomination in Chicago—has more than one million members and 5,100 congregations nationwide, including 150 churches in North Carolina, and the UCC general synod passed a resolution supporting marriage equality in 2005. “For 40 years or more we have been seeking justice and equality for gay and lesbian people,” explains Geoffrey Black, president and general minister of the United Church of Christ. “This is the moment when we have an opportunity to seek justice and equality for gay and lesbian people, and so we are taking that matter very seriously.”

Smith and Cloninger are planning to have their religious ceremony at Holy Covenant in October no matter the outcome of the case. “We’ve bought dresses, we’ve sent save the date cards, we’ve booked a reception hall,” says Smith, who along with Cloninger is a North Carolina native. “Nothing could make us happier than if we were able to have both a religious and legal ceremony with everyone that we love around us and our pastor legally able to officiate that ceremony.”

Nancy Allison, the pastor of Holy Covenant and an individual plaintiff in the case, is willing to face any repercussions that may come. “I can’t imagine the law enforcement of North Carolina coming after a clergy person for doing their job, but if I were to be arrested for this, I would gladly face those arrest charges,” Allison explains. “I can do no other than move forward under my convictions.”

TIME Religion

The Boy Scouts Banned My Church Because We Support Gays

Geoff McGrath on April 1, 2014, in Bellevue, Wash.
Geoff McGrath on April 1, 2014, in Bellevue, Wash. Elaine Thompson—AP

Earlier this week, the Boy Scouts of America revoked the troop charter of a Seattle-area United Methodist Church because the church would not boot the scoutmaster Geoff McGrath, a married, gay Eagle Scout. Monica Corsaro, the pastor of the church, explains why.

The congregation that I serve, Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, is an incredibly diverse place. We have various racial and ethnic groups. Our people come from various economic strata. We have gay and straight people. Beyond just having the diversity, we are a place that values every person that God has placed within our community.

Because our church sits in the heart of our diverse neighborhood and has become somewhat of a community center, we knew that it was the right time to charter a Boy Scout troop in the congregation. In envisioning this troop we wanted it reflect who the congregation is, and to welcome in the community around us with authenticity.

We didn’t choose Geoff McGrath as a political statement. We chose Geoff because he was the perfect person for the job, an Eagle Scout himself, and someone who has a Master’s degree in Social Work. He has mentoring and leadership skills that someone taking on this role needs. A perfect fit. Geoff was quite willing, to serve as scoutmaster but was also nervous that his being gay would pose a problem for me and for the congregation. I assured him that putting him in the leadership of this troop would reflect and live out the values of our congregation, and that we would not have a troop at Rainier Beach UMC unless it was fully inclusive, because that is who we are.

Apparently, who we are is a problem for the Boy Scouts of America. Our congregation’s new troop was welcomed warmly by the Chief Seattle Council with full knowledge of the values of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, as well as who Geoff McGrath is. Our congregation is the religious partner in this chartering relationship, and it troubles me that our belief that God created and loves each and every one of us, just as we are is being ignored and in fact denied by the Boy Scouts of America.

Last year, when the Boy Scouts voted to remove the ban on gay youth from Scouting, much of the speculation was on how churches might react to the change. It seems as though that speculation was only concerned with the churches that actively exclude LGBT people from congregational life and leadership. The actions of the Boy Scouts has communicated to me that there is little reverence for a congregation that welcomes, includes, and values all people. Rainier Beach United Methodist Church believes putting someone in a closet and not letting him be honest about who he is when asked is not “morally straight,“ to use a Boy Scout term.

Our congregation is the chartering organization for the troop, and yet I, as the pastor, had no contact from the BSA when they told Geoff that he was kicked out as a leader. Further, the BSA asked me and the congregation to violate our conscience and our religious beliefs by removing him as a leader of the Boy Scout troop when we know he is the most gifted for the leadership of the troop we chartered. That is not how a partnership works. The Boy Scouts of America need to recognize the growing number of churches whose beliefs include all people. And by all, we mean all.

Our congregation continues to be committed to serving the youth of our community. At the moment, we are exploring what options exist for the future of the troop that we have worked so hard to build. We hope that the Boy Scouts will support our congregation and our values, as it has supported so many other congregations around the country.

Our Boy Scout troop is a part of our congregation’s ministry to its immediate context. Rainier Beach UMC serves the immigrant, the refugee, the middle class person, the mixed-race person, the single parent, the elderly, the young, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender person, the lonely, the powerful, the least and the lost. We will keep serving all those people who are a part of our context, because that is what the Gospel calls us to do.

Rev. Dr. Monica Corsaro is the pastor of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church in Seattle.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser