Taking the Lead Through Policy and Practice
History would tell us that fraternities and sororities have been resistant to change. However, the prominence of gay, lesbian and bisexual members coming out has become center stage for many college fraternities and sororities in the last two decades. The ball is rolling and momentum is gaining to lead the way.
The Lambda 10 Project monitors a list of fraternities that have taken the lead and are truly “OUT in Front” on the issue of sexual orientation. Such fraternities and sororities have developed inclusive polices that include sexual orientation and, or created educational steps to address issues of sexual orientation in the college Greek community. As a result, their inclusive educational efforts work to create a better Greek community and encourage other inter/national fraternities to do the same.
The Lambda 10 Project has identified these fraternities and sororities as being “OUT in Front” on sexual orientation issues. We are also working to identify fraternities and sororities that are taking steps in relation to gender identity/expression. Please call or email your inter/national headquarters and help us update the listing with new and accurate information. Help us continue to grow the “OUT in Front” listing and share what you learn with us. Submit your inter/national fraternity or sorority efforts for LGBT inclusion.
Out in Front Listing of Fraternities and Sororities:
ALPHA CHI OMEGA SORORITY
Alpha Chi Omega does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation or marital status. Alpha Phi Omega includes the words “sexual preference,” not sexual orientation in it’s “Sexual Harassment/Abuse/Discrimination” policy. It reads as follows: “The fraternity will not tolerate or condone any form of abusive or discriminatory behavior on the part of its Members, whether physical, mental or emotional in respect to sex, race, ethnicity, physical or emotional handicap, age, marital status or sexual preference. This is to include any actions, which are deemed to be demeaning to all but not limited to date/gang rape or verbal harassment.”
ALPHA SIGMA ALPHA SORORITY
Alpha Sigma Alpha in 2005 proposed a Resolution to the convention body that “Alpha Sigma Alpha will not bar any woman from membership nor marginalize any members based on their sexual orientation.” There was some amazing discussion on the floor and I am very proud to share with you that it passed significantly. While it is just a resolution, it is finally down on paper and we are now prepared to submit this for a Bylaws amendment at the next convention in 2006. In the past, we have always been an organization that was based on inclusion and it was wonderful to hear this welcoming spirit shared through the discussion. It was the first time that we have had conversation on the topic. This was a huge step for ASA.
On July 27, 2006 at the Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority national convention, the women of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority approved adding the bylaw amendment to include sexual orientation in the non discrimination clause. The measure passed hands-down and was only three short of unanimous approval. The bylaw reads:
“Chapters are prohibited from barring admission on the basis of race, color, religion, age, disability, national origin, or sexual orientation.”
ALPHA SIGMA PHI FRATERNITY
In 2004, Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity passed a “Position Statement on Inclusiveness” which stated that “Alpha Sigma Phi is the Fraternity “To Better the Man” and all of her functions and actions are expected to represent this as listed in our Mission Statement and Code of Conduct, and Whereas, Article III, Section 7 of the Constitution states: “No Chapter shall permit discrimination in membership selection, initiation, chapter operations, or other activities of the Fraternity based on any individual’s race, color, creed, religion, disability, or sexual orientation…. it is the continuing position of our Fraternity that membership privileges are open to any qualified man of character without consideration of ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, national origin, age, family status, or cultural background.” To read the resolution in it’s entirety, click here.
BETA THETA PI FRATERNITY
The Beta Theta Pi Men of Principle program states the following as part of the action plan for chapters: “Implement an educational program for all members that addresses issues relevant to personal, fraternal, and community life. Offer programs on current hot topics and social behavior. Suggested topics include: sexual assault, diversity, culture, lifestyles, STDs, AIDS, herpes, safe sex, testicular cancer, prostrate cancer, alcoholism, etc.” In Summer 2006, the undergraduate members of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity unanimously passed an inclusion policy for the fraternity. The follow was placed in The Code of Beta Theta Pi:
Be it enacted by the 167th General Convention of Beta Theta Pi that the following be added to Article II of The Constitution:
“SECTION 3. Membership Eligibility: “Membership selection shall not, in any way, be affected or determined by race, color, creed, religion, age, disability, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or national origin.” Be it enacted by the 167th General Convention of Beta Theta Pi that the following be added to Article II of The Constitution:
“SECTION 11. Inclusiveness of the Chapter: “No chapter shall permit discrimination in membership selection, initiation, chapter operations, or other activities of the fraternity based upon any person’s race, color, creed, religion, age, disability, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or national origin.”
One of our undergraduates from the University of Connecticut chapter proposed the change. Several candid discussions took place about sexual orientation during the consideration of the legislation as well as in other programs as well. Leading up to the Model Initiation program, an undergraduate member came out to the entire audience and told his story about being gay in his chapter. Read the transcript from his speech.
CHI PHI FRATERNITY
Provides inclusive new member materials on a variety of issues and does educate new members on “sexual orientation” issues.
CHI PSI FRATERNITY
Constitution states that “2.6 No Discrimination.
No man shall be denied membership in the Fraternity on the basis of his race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability status.”
DELTA CHI FRATERNITY
July 27, 2006 – At the 55th International Delta Chi Fraternity Convention, the men of Delta Chi Fraternity officially voted to amend its Constitution to include sexual orientation among its non-discrimination policy, as follows:
DENIAL OF MEMBERSHIP–No person shall be denied membership because of race, color, creed or religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.
DELTA DELTA DELTA SORORITY
August 8, 2002 – Delta Delta Delta unanimously approved a non-discrimination policy in July at the Fraternity’s 50th Convention held in Orlando, Florida. The policy affirms that Tri Delta does not discriminate on any basis other than gender and expressly will not discriminate against any woman based on her ethnic heritage, national origin, personal appearance, personal beliefs, race, religion, or sexual orientation.Delta Delta Delta, one of the founders of the National Panhellenic Conference, is a leader among women’s fraternities. Tri Delta is one of the largest women’s fraternities, with a membership totaling more than 210,000 women. With 133 collegiate chapters and 354 alumnae chapters across the United States and Canada, Tri Delta continues to be internationally recognized for high standards and outstanding accomplishments. The Executive Office of Tri Delta is located in Arlington, Texas. To read Tri Delta’s non-discrimination policy in its entirety, please click here.
DELTA GAMMA SORORITY
Online at Delta Gamma Sorority the national website lists the Lambda 10 Project and it’s resources as well as states “Delta Gamma believes in sisterhood, love, and acceptance of all.” The site is very intentional in it’s commitment to sensitivity and tolerance.
DELTA SIGMA PHI FRATERNITY
Delta Sigma Phi’s new member education manual, The Gordian Knot, includes exercises regarding sexual orientation as does the Delta Sigma Phi summer Leadership Institute curriculum. Delta Sigma Phi has an official policy on diversity and human dignity and recently added “sexual orientation” to the membership statement to read: “Membership in each chapter and colony of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity shall be determined by educational achievement, character, financial responsibility, leadership ability and personal development. Consideration for membership is open to men with regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, ancestry, citizenship, sexual orientation, marital status or any other classification protected by law or ordinance.” DSP also has a policy on HIV/AIDS. DSP’s policy on diversity and human dignity is available on page 18 of their Fraternity Manual.
DELTA UPSILON FRATERNITY
Delta Upsilon in their expansion material contains this statement: “Since its inception, Delta Upsilon has held only one qualification for membership: merit. Such criterion is blind to difference of race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, physical attributes, socio-economic status, and national origin.”
KAPPA DELTA RHO FRATERNITY
The national constitution states that “… Kappa Delta Rho … does not discriminate on the basis of … sexual orientation.” The issue is also addressed in the statements on diversity and sexual abuse/harassment in the Pledge Education materials. KDR field staff also go through a very extensive training on sexual orientation and how to address the issue while visiting chapters. A new part of that training is now the required reading of “Out on Fraternity Row,” to provide our staff with insight into the life of a gay member in a fraternity. In 1998, with the support of the national staff, an informal network of gay and straight allies was formed to provide support and resources to brothers who have made the decision to come out to their chapters. Another leg of this program is the ability to send trained field staff to the chapter to facilitate programs addressing the issues that they may be facing and to assist in creating an open and accepting environment. Finally, sexual orientation has been a part of the open discussions and directed discussions at our National Leadership School, Regional leadership seminars, and our Advisors’ Institute.
KAPPA KAPPA PSI FRATERNITY
Kappa Kappa Psi unanimously voted to add sexual orientation to its discrimination policy at its national convention in 1993 at Purdue University.
LAMBDA CHI ALPHA FRATERNITY
News Brief from Summer 2002: “The committee unanimously feels that this resolution be adopted immediately.” “All those in favor say aye”… A solid forceful “AYE!” “All those opposed” … a few scattered “no”s. And with that, Lambda Chi Alpha stepped its non-discrimination policies into the 21st century. The resolution passed without any discussion whatsoever. In fact it did not seem to be a real issue which stands as a testament to the brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha. At their 49th General Assembly, LCA’s undergraduate body voted nearly unanimously to add religion, sexual orientation and disability to their constitution. The idea for the resolution began after a brother dared to write legislation to bring out what has been known as the “last great taboo” in Lambda Chi Alpha. Several brothers contributed to the effort by spreading the word to their chapters and alumni. Research found that accepting the resolution would bring LCA’s discrimination policies in line with those of 81 of the top 100 fortune 500 companies, and over 80% of our host institutions. The hope of the resolution’s author is that the advance made by the brothers of LCA will serve as an inspiration for other’s in the Greek world. The resolution may be viewed, click here.
PHI DELTA THETA FRATERNITY
Phi Delta Theta includes a session for their “Ambassador tracks” at their annual Leadership College for the discussion of “sexual orientation” issues. One of its’ members, Shane L. Windmeyer is the founder/executive director of Campus Pride, coordinator of the Lambda 10 Project for Gay Greeks and editor of the first books dealing with being gay, lesbian, bisexual in a college fraternity and sorority, OUT ON FRATERNITY ROW & SECRET SISTERS–another “famous first” for Phi Delta Theta!
PI KAPPA PHI FRATERNITY
Pi Kappa Phi the summer of 2002 passed a resolution regarding the inclusion of sexual orientation. As stated, “Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity will not tolerate or condone any form of sexually abusive behavior (physical, mental, or emotional) or discrimination based on sexual orientation. Furthermore, the Fraternity supports educational programming that promotes healthy attitudes between the sexes and acceptance of sexual orientation. All chapters of the Fraternity must work to provide an atmosphere where proper attitudes and behavior towards sex, sex roles and sexual orientation will be promoted and a respect for human dignity will be of chief priority.” The resolution passed without discussion and unanimously. For more information, click here.
PHI KAPPA TAU FRATERNITY
Phi Kappa Tau has an AIDS-type policy which encompasses the tolerance for sexual orientation. This policy was adopted in 1993.
PHI SIGMA KAPPA FRATERNITY
Provides some educational programming on sexual orientation issues. In January of 2002, the Phi Sigma Kappa Board of Directors added sexual orientation to their employment non-discrimination policy in their employee handbook.
At the 62nd Annual Convention on Saturday August 8, 2009, the brothers of Phi Sigma Kappa amended their Constitution to include the following anti-discrimination clause:
Article I. Section 7.
No chapter shall discriminate in recruitment or in membership based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, ethnic background, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status, parental status, or political affiliation.
To view the statement click here.
PHI SIGMA SIGMA
Phi Sigma Sigma’s Multicultural and Diversity Awareness policy states that “membership in each chapter shall be determined by meeting membership obligations, educational achievement, commitment to our core values and criteria related to the goals and purpose of the Fraternity. Membership is open to all women without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, handicap, disability, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation or any other classification protected by law or ordinance.”
PI KAPPA ALPHA FRATERNITY
Adopted in 2004, the Pi Kappa Alpha Chapter Codes state: “Each chapter shall make a good faith effort to recruit and pledge students representing varied backgrounds. Each chapter shall not discriminate in recruitment or in membership on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or religious affiliation.
The Chapter Codes provide the standards by which all chapters in good standing with The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity, an unincorporated association, shall comply in their operations. The Chapter Codes may only be amended by the chapters.”
PSI UPSILON FRATERNITY
Psi Upsilon has included in their educational books some case studies around what to do when a brother comes out to you.
SIGMA ALPHA EPSILON FRATERNITY
Sigma Alpha Epsilon provides a link to The Lambda 10 Project from their Greek Resources Page for the True Gentleman Initiative.
SIGMA ALPHA IOTA WOMEN’S FRATERNITY
Sigma Alpha Iota, an international women’s music fraternity, clearly states in its bylaws that “Sigma Alpha Iota does not discriminate against women students on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, political belief, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, or sexual orientation.”
SIGMA CHI FRATERNITY
References sexual orientation in their human dignity statement and recently highlighted a brother “coming out” in their Alumni Magazine.
SIGMA PHI EPSILON FRATERNITY
Sigma Phi Epsilon provides training to chapter consultants on sexual orientation issues and includes diversity education in the Balance Man Initiatives. Sigma Phi Epsilon is one of the largest national fraternities to add “sexual orientation” into it’s Bylaws & Constitution. Click here to view the Amendment passed at the Sigma Phi Epsilon Conclave.
SIGMA NU FRATERNITY
The Law of Sigma Nu Fraternity, consideration for membership in the Fraternity is open to any individual who 1)is a man; 2)posses the character and bearing of a gentleman; and 3)is a matriculate of the institution where the chapter is located. Sigma Nu’s board of directors interprets this as not precluding an individual from membership consideration based on sexual orientation.
SIGMA SIGMA SIGMA SORORITY
Sigma Sigma Sigma unanimously approved the addition of sexual orientation to its Position Statement on Non-Discrimination and its Bylaws on Recruitment on Sunday, June 24, 2007, at the Sorority’s Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Position Statement on Non-Discrimination now reads:
“Membership in each chapter shall be determined by performance, educational achievement and criteria related to the goals and purposes of the Sorority. Judgments shall not be made based upon other factors such as individual race, color, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age or disability.”
SIGMA TAU GAMMA FRATERNITY
In 2006, the Sigma Tau Gamma Board of Directors adopted the following policy statement as a part of the Fraternity Governance Manual:
A family (chapter) is a supportive unit providing respect, trust, and acceptance that allows and enhances personal growth and development in a safe yet challenging environment. Members exhibit mutual support through their roles as mentor, coach, counselor, and advocate for one another, also through their collaborative efforts.
This is present when:
1. Membership contributes to the development of members’ self-worth
2. Members develop lasting friendships
3. Conflicts within the brotherhood are resolved successfully
4. Safe conditions exist
5. The membership is diverse with respect to race, color, creed, national origin and sexual orientation .
The Sigma Tau Gamma Application for Membership form also states: “Sigma Tau Gamma does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin or sexual orientation .”
TAU BETA SIGMA FRATERNITY
Tau Beta Sigma added sexual orientation to its discrimination policy at the 25th Biennial National Convention in 1993 at Purdue University. Prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation was incorporated into its National Constitution at the 27th Biennial National Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona.
THETA CHI FRATERNITY
Theta Chi Fraternity does include sexual orientation in our membership policy as other organizations have by referencing it as “…regardless of race, sexual orientation, culture, religion, and so forth.” et al. We adopted that in1990.
THETA DELTA CHI FRATERNITY
Theta Delta Chi International Fraternity adopted a “Statement of Inclusive Membership and Participation” at their 156th Convention of Theta Delta Chi International Fraternity on August 9, 2003. Highlights of the statement include: “Whereas, Article IV Section 12 of the Theta Delta Chi Constitution was removed by the 102nd Convention of 1949, eliminating the only socially discriminatory restrictions to have ever existed in the selection of her members; therefore be itResolved, by the Grand Lodge of Theta Delta Chi and its Charges, that membership in the Fraternity and the selection of her pledges, shall be not be determined on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, age, physical or emotional disability, or sexual orientation.” To read the entire statement, please click here.
THETA PHI ALPHA SORORITY
Theta Phi Alpha’s manual of National Policies has added sexual orientation to its Policy on Non-Discrimination. I don’t think there was a lot of fanfare, and it was most likely something that the Grand Council added to the policy.
THETA XI FRATERNITY
On August 2, 1991, Theta Xi Fraternity adopted a “Statement of Position on Human Dignity” which stated “Theta Xi Chapters and individual members shall not tolerate sexual abuse–emotional, verbal or physical–of women, shall neither condone nor participate in hazing activities, shall respect the integrity of those of different religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical ability, or political belief.” To read the complete statement, please click here.
ZETA BETA TAU FRATERNITY
Zeta Beta Tau includes a resource titled “What to do if you learn a brother is gay?” in educational materials to members and mentions sexual orientation in it’s Code of Ethics.