Bylaws & Guidelines
Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons
Last amended on October 20, 2012, in Seattle, Washington
For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise
servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free
will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they
shall in nowise lose their reward.
Doctrine & Covenants Section 58:26-28
ARTICLE I - NAME
The name of this general association shall be Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons (AFFIRMATION).
ARTICLE II - POSITION
We affirm that homosexuality and homosexual relationships can be consistent with and supported by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
ARTICLE III - PURPOSE
Affirmation does charter itself for the purpose and position herein stated, as a charitable, service, educational and religious oriented association.
As members and friends of the gay and lesbian community, it is our intention to work for the understanding and acceptance of gays and lesbians as full,
equal and worthy persons within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("the Church") and society, and to help them realize and affirm
Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons is a welcoming community and welcomes all persons regardless of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Affirmation supports and encourages its members by assisting them in dealing with the Church, their families, employers, work associates and
social contacts. The association offers its members strength and support in solving personal problems through mutual acceptance and fellowship.
The association is organized to:
Encourage spirituality, prayer and the practice of all Christ-like
and charitable behavior in the recognition of members as whole and complete
children of God.
- Provide support for people experiencing difficulty reconciling their sexual orientation with traditional Mormon beliefs and other belief systems about homosexuality.
- Provide a forum for communication and education for members and leaders
of the Church and our peers concerning homosexuality.
- Provide support and opportunity for social interaction, intellectual
development, emotional stability and cultural exposure with those of
similar heritage and background.
Any individual who has paid general association membership dues for the current period shall be considered a member of the general association
of Affirmation. An individual may also be a member of a local chapter or the chapter-at-large of Affirmation.
The members of Affirmation, meeting in a general conference, shall be
the ultimate governing authority of the general association of Affirmation.
The regular activities of the association shall be directed by a President and an Executive Committee, elected and appointed as provided
in the By-Laws. Certain actions of the President and Executive
Committee shall be effective only upon ratification by the Council of
Chapter Representatives, the members of which shall be selected as provided
in the By-Laws. In general, the President and the Executive Committee
shall serve as the functioning executive of the general association, and
shall establish policies, procedures and guidelines for the general association,
affiliated chapters and fellowship groups.
The President shall be elected by the dues-paying members of the general association, in the manner provided in the By-Laws. The President shall select and appoint, from among the dues-paying members of the general association, two Vice Presidents, one of whom shall be designated the Senior Vice President. The President and the two Vice Presidents shall constitute the Executive Committee. The appointment of the Vice Presidents shall be effective upon ratification by the Council of Chapter Representatives, as provided in the By-Laws. In the event of the President's resignation, removal or other inability to act, the Senior Vice President shall become the President, appointing two new Vice Presidents, in the manner appointed above. In the event of the simultaneous resignation, removal or other inability to act of both the President and the Senior Vice President, the other Vice President shall become the President. The President may remove any Vice President at any time and shall appoint (a) successor Vice President(s) in the manner provided for the original appointment of such Vice President(s).
Each chapter will elect or select a Representative who will be a member of the Council of Chapter Representatives.
A local chapter may become affiliated with the general association by supporting the General Charter, and by applying to and being accepted by the Executive Committee, in the manner provided in the By-Laws.
A Board of Directors may be appointed by the President and the Executive Committee to advise and assist the Executive Committee and to oversee any paid staff or employees of the organization, in accordance with the Bylaws. The Board shall consist of no more than fifteen members, plus the President, who shall preside at meetings of the Board, and the two Vice Presidents. With the exception of the members of the Executive Committee, who serve ex officio, members of the Board shall serve for three-year terms, with one-third of such terms ending each year. A Board member may removed by the Council of Chapter Representatives in accordance with the Bylaws.
Proposed amendments to this General Charter, and to the By-Laws, may be submitted by any three or more dues paying members of the general association to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall present any such proposed amendments in writing to the full membership (all current dues paying members) with provisions for voting on the acceptance or rejection of the amendment. The amendments shall become permanent upon the ratifying vote of a simple majority of the ballots or votes received in reply, or alternatively, by a simple majority of members of Affirmation in attendance at a general business session of the next general conference. A vote must be called for, by mail or electronically, within no more than six weeks of the Executive Committee having received the proposed amendment, or by a vote at the general business session of the next conference if the proposed amendment is received less than two months before the start of the next conference. Should the Executive Committee and three other dues paying members unanimously agree the amendment is frivolous, they may refuse to submit the proposed amendment to the membership for a vote.
ARTICLE VI--STATEMENT OF NONPROFIT STATUS
This association is organized exclusively for nonprofit, charitable, educational and religious oriented purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the "Internal Revenue Code").
The organization claims that donations and funds received shall therefore be exempt and deductible under the foregoing section of the Internal Revenue Code. Upon the dissolution of the association, its assets remaining after payment of all its debts and liabilities shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation or corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational and/or religious oriented purposes and which has established its tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
No part of the net earnings of this association shall ever inure to
or be for the benefit of or be distributable to its members, trustees,
officers, or other private persons, except that the association shall
be empowered to make reasonable compensation for services rendered and
to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the exempt purposes
for which it was formed.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, the association
shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on
by an association exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code.
Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons
The name of this general association shall be Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian
ARTICLE II--ADHERENCE TO GENERAL CHARTER
Affirmation is empowered to perform any and all acts which are defined in the General Charter and the By-Laws of the association and shall do
nothing which is inconsistent with their provisions and with resolutions adopted by the Executive Committee and ratified by the Council of Chapter
Representatives as provided herein.
ARTICLE III--ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT
Section 1. The term of office for the President shall be one calendar year, from January 1st through December 31st of the year following
the election of the President.
Section 2. Candidates for the office of President must
formally declare their candidacy in writing to the editor of Affinity
or a member of the Executive Committee no later than the end of the
first day of the annual general conference of Affirmation, but in
no event, later than October 15th. Declaration(s) of candidacy should
be printed in the November issue of Affinity along with a printed
ballot for use by each current, dues-paying member of Affirmation.
Section 3. Ballot votes must be mailed to the General Association's
post office box postmarked before November 20th, and marked "BALLOT"
on the envelope. Such ballots will be opened and counted by an Election
Committee (consisting of the Corresponding Secretary of the Association
and two dues-paying members of Affirmation chosen by the Corresponding
Secretary) not earlier than November 25th, and not later than December
1st, and the results reported to the current President. All
ballots will be submitted to the Executive Committee for verification.
The Election Committee shall execute a certificate verifying the results
of the election, which shall be printed in the next issue of Affinity.
ARTICLE IV -- DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENT
Section 1. The President shall preside at and conduct the business
meetings of the Executive Committee. He/She shall be responsible for timely
responses to all mail and telephone inquiries about Affirmation, and forwarding
the information to the appropriate chapter, fellowship group or General
Section 2. The President shall report or cause to be reported
at each regular meeting of the Executive Committee and each meeting of
the Council of Chapter Representatives, the status of the General Association's
budget and operating expenses.
Section 3. The President shall be empowered to perform any
tasks as requested by the Executive Committee and in keeping with the
General Charter and these By-Laws.
ARTICLE V -- COUNCIL OF CHAPTER REPRESENTATIVES
Section 1. The Council of Chapter Representatives shall be composed
of one representative of each voting chapter of Affirmation, plus a member,
appointed by the President, to represent the members of the "Chapter-at-Large."
Each chapter shall elect or select such representative in the manner such
chapter may determine, and the presiding officer of such chapter or group
shall inform the President of the name and address of the person
so elected or selected.
Section 2. The Council of Chapter Representatives shall meet at least
annually, in conjunction with the annual general conference of Affirmation.
It may meet at other times, and may conduct business by telephonic communications
followed by written confirmation of the votes of its members, recognizing
nevertheless that as a matter of policy, decisions of the Council should
be preceded by full disclosure and discussion to the maximum extent practical,
and good faith efforts shall be made by the Executive Committee and any
other members presenting matters to the Council for action to fully inform
all members of the Council and permit discussion of issues by such members
prior to action by the Council.
Section 3. The power of recall and removal of the President
is vested in the Council of Chapter Representatives. Recall and removal
of the President may be initiated by the written request of three
or more members of the Council of Chapter Representatives (the "moving
parties"). The moving parties shall prepare and deliver to the Corresponding
Secretary a written statement of the reason for such request, and copies
of such statement shall be mailed to each member of the Council of Chapter
Representatives. Not sooner than seven (7) days following such mailing
of such statement the Council of Chapter Representatives may meet to consider
the action to be taken with respect to such request, or not sooner than
fourteen (14) days following such mailing, the Council may act upon such
matter through telephonic communications with written confirmation of
the votes of the members to be mailed to the Corresponding Secretary,
who shall designate an Election Committee with the same qualifications
as indicated in Article IV Section 3, which Committee shall count the
votes and sign a certificate of the results. Recall and removal of the
President shall require a two-thirds majority vote of all members
of the Council of Chapter Representatives voting on the issue. The certificate
of voting results shall be published in the next issue of Affinity.
Section 4. The President shall preside but shall not vote at
the meetings or other proceedings of the Council of Chapter Representatives,
unless the matter at issue involves the President, in which case
any member of the Council of Chapter Representatives designated by three
or more members of the Council shall preside. There shall be no quorum
attendance requirement for the Council of Chapter Representatives, but
all actions must be taken based upon the voting concurrence of a simple
majority of all of the members of the Council eligible to vote, or other
majority as specified herein.
ARTICLE VI--EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall be composed of the President and two Vice Presidents selected and appointed by the President and ratified by a simple majority of the Council of Chapter Representatives as provided in Article VI of these By-Laws. One of the Vice Presidents shall be designated the senior Vice President. In the event of the resignation, removal or other inability to act of the President, the senior Vice President shall become the President, and in the event of the resignation, removal or other inability to act of the senior Vice President, the other Vice President shall become the President. The President, from time to time, may remove any Vice President. In any case of vacancy of the office of Vice President, the President shall appoint successor Vice President(s) in the manner provided for the original appointment of such Vice President(s). Actions of the Executive Committee shall be taken by majority vote (two of the three members) of the Executive Committee.
Section 2. The Executive Committee shall meet at such times and places as may be designated by the President. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of the President and one of the Vice Presidents. One member of the Executive Committee shall act as secretary at the meetings of the committee, and records the minutes and actions of the meeting.
Section 3. The President and the Executive Committee may appoint members to the Board of Directors. The three members of the Executive Committee shall serve as ex officio members of the Board, and the President shall preside. All other Board members serve for a three year term, with one-third of such terms ending each year. The initial board members shall be appointed to serve a one-, two-, or three-year term. The Board of Directors shall assist and advise the Executive Committee, shall assist with fund raising as requested by the Executive Committee, shall be responsible for ratifying disbursement of grant and loan monies, and shall be responsible for hiring and supervising any paid employees or staff members of the organization. The Council of Chapter Representatives may remove any member of the Board using the same procedure as for the removal of a President (Article V, Section 3).
ARTICLE VII--DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall appoint the following executive officers ("general association officers") of the general association:
Any dues-paying member may be appointed to one or more of the foregoing
positions. The appointment of each of the foregoing named officers shall
be effective upon ratification by a simple majority of the Council of
Chapter Representatives. Any of the foregoing officers may be removed
by action of the Executive Committee, and successor officers appointed
in the manner provided for the original appointment of such officers.
In addition, the Executive Committee may appoint such other adjunct officers
and committees, from time to time, as it may deem appropriate, including,
but not limited to:
- Managing Editor of Affinity--the general membership publication of
- General Conference Chairperson or Co-Chairpersons
- Corresponding Secretary
- Publications Director — (publications other than Affinity)
- Public Relations Director
The appointment of any such adjunct officers and committees shall not
require the ratification of the Council of Chapter Representatives. All
adjunct officers and committees shall serve at the pleasure of the Executive
- Family Service Director(s)
- Chapter Development Director
- Women's Issues Director
- Fund Raising Committee
- Area Representatives
- Liaison Assistants for other related support groups
Section 2. Prior to April 1st of each year, the Executive Committee
shall prepare and forward to the Council of Chapter Representatives for
ratification an annual budget for the activities of Affirmation for the
current calendar year.
Section 3. The Executive Committee each year shall select, and give
notice to the general membership of the Association of, a date and place
for a general conference of such membership at a location reasonably convenient
to the general membership of the association. The general conference shall
be held over a period including a weekend, and shall be held on or prior
to the last weekend in October in each year.
Section 4. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for:
Section 5. The Executive Committee shall review the income and expenses
and determine the General Association annual fee to be assessed of each
voting member of the Association. Said fee shall be sufficient to cover
a subscription to the national newsletter and the operation expenses of
the General Association. Any change in said fee shall be subject to ratification
by the Council of Chapter Representatives. Chapters may add to the membership
assessment an additional local chapter membership fee sufficient to cover
chapter operating costs.
- directing the general activities of the Association;
- promoting the formation of new chapters within Affirmation;
- publishing or causing to be published a national newsletter;
- organizing or causing to be organized an annual national conference;
- defining and promoting the general goals for Affirmation for the
term of office of the Executive Committee.
Membership dues, in an amount to be determined by the Executive Committee,
shall be assessed of any member not belonging to any voting chapter. Said
fee shall entitle such members to be represented on the Council of Chapter
Representatives by an appointee of the President, as well as
to an annual subscription to the national newsletter. Said fee shall also
be transferable to a local membership in the event of a formation of a
new chapter in his or her area.
ARTICLE VIII--MAINTAINING CHAPTER AFFILIATION
Section 1. Area Representatives who are dues-paying members of the General
Association, may be appointed by the Executive Committee to coordinate
the activities of, and communication with, members and potential members
who live more than thirty (30) miles from any organized chapter. The Area
Representative will maintain contact with the President and receive
referrals from individuals within his/her geographic area. The Area Representative
will work toward the organization of a local chapter by active promotion
of Affirmation and fellowshipping of potential members.
Section 2. Non-voting chapters of Affirmation shall consist of any number
of persons choosing to associate under a single designation, but which
have less than three members paying dues to the General Association. Non-voting
chapters shall be governed by the Executive Committee, or an appointee
thereof, who shall report to the Executive Committee. Non-voting chapters
shall not be autonomous and may be reorganized or disbanded at the discretion
of the Executive Committee at any time. The right to use the designation
of Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons, or any part thereof, is also
at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
Voting chapters of Affirmation shall consist of any number of persons choosing to associate, not less than three of whom have paid dues to the General Association for the year. Qualification will occur when the dues are received by the national treasury. The chapter must maintain a regular meeting schedule, meeting at least once every three months. A quarterly written or electronic communication should be published. The chapter shall have bylaws or other written documentation setting forth the method of selection of a chapter leader and method of accounting for chapter funds; a copy of the this by-laws or documentation shall be filed with the Secretary of the General Association. The chapter shall provide contact information for the chapter leader to the Editor or Secretary of the General Association in a format to be determined by the Editor or Secretary. Chapters maintaining the above criteria will receive all referrals in their geographic area, and will be listed in the Affinity directory. Voting chapters shall be governed by locally elected or appointed leaders, subject to the goals and objectives of the General Association as outlined in this Charter and By-laws.
Section 4. The Executive Committee shall periodically review and determine
the status of affiliated chapters. Any group of persons desiring to affiliate
with Affirmation will make application to the Executive Committee with
Section 5. A chapter's voting privilege shall be in effect as of the
receipt by the national treasurer of not less than three paid General
Association memberships for the year, subject to acceptance by the Executive
Committee. If affiliation is disallowed, the individuals will become members
of the Chapter-at-Large. Voting rights shall remain in effect until the
chapter's affiliate status is withdrawn or revoked, subject to the conditions
outlined in section 6, following.
- the name by which the chapter will be known
- the status (voting or non-voting) desires
- the name of the chapter director and voting representative
- a mailing address and a phone number for chapter business
- a copy of the chapter's mission statement, constitution or chapter
Section 6. The status of a chapter may be revised or recognition revoked
by the Executive Committee for any of the following reasons:
Upon dissolution of any affiliate chapter, the membership records and
any remaining funds shall be sent to the President and become
part of the general funds of the Association, in accordance with the 501(c)(3)
requirements imposed by the internal Revenue Service. Any individual member
of a dissolved chapter shall become a member of the Chapter-at-Large and
entitled to the privileges thereof until membership expiration.
- a failure to remit individual membership fees to the General Association
- a six-month lapse in the functioning of the chapter
- gross non-compliance with the General Charter, By-Laws or the chapter
- the inability of the Executive Committee to establish contact with
a chapter representative for 90 consecutive days
- a failure to represent Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons in a manner
consistent with these Charter & By-Laws.
ARTICLE IX--STATEMENT OF MISSION, OBJECTIVES AND IDEOLOGY
Section 1. Affirmation hereby adopts the following statement of its
mission, objectives and ideology, which will be reviewed and updated,
from time to time, as deemed appropriate by the members assembled in general
conference, upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee or Council
of Chapter Representatives.
Section 2. The mission of Affirmation shall be to provide gay and lesbian
Mormons and former Mormons with opportunities to make their own choices
by helping them deal with issues regarding sexual orientation, spirituality,
and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Section 3. The objectives of Affirmation are as follows:
(1) Affirmation will provide opportunities for gay and lesbian Mormons
and former Mormons to:
Section 4. Affirmation expresses the following ideology:
(2) Affirmation will interact with the extended Mormon community to:
- Work through sexual orientation issues—especially issues of being
gay or lesbian and Mormon.
- Discover their own values and develop a way of living in harmony
with those values.
- Network with each other.
(3) Affirmation will interact with other gay and lesbian organizations
- Eliminate the prejudices and misconceptions about sexual orientation.
- Educate family and friends about being gay or lesbian and Mormon.
- Share our values and views.
- Encourage our members to serve the community.
- Sexual orientation is an inherent part of each individual.
- Many Mormons—gay and straight—have prejudices and misconceptions about
sexual orientation. Eliminating those prejudices and misconceptions
is in everyone's interest.
- Although Affirmation is not a religion, Mormon cultural, spiritual,
and religious heritage is an intrinsic part of Affirmation. We encourage
our members to develop personal spirituality.
- Affirmation is one voice in a chorus of many. We respect the right
of individuals to organize to meet their own needs.
- Friendship, learning, healing and support are inherent in our gatherings.
Family and friends are welcome.
- Affirmation functions provide a safe place to affirm our humanity.
Beliefs about religion, spirituality, sexuality and other private issues
are respected as personal values. We honor each individual's process
- Affirmation remains politically neutral, but encourages its members
to follow their consciences.
ARTICLE X--ENDOWMENT FUND
Section 1.The Executive Committee may establish an Affirmation Endowment
Fund which shall receive contributions from members and friends of Affirmation.
The objective of the Endowment Fund will be to receive and invest principal
funds and to earn an income which shall be used to further the purposes
of Affirmation as stated in the organization's Charter.
Section 2.The Endowment Fund shall be governed by an Administrative
Committee comprised of not less than three nor more than seven members
who shall be appointed by the President and ratified the by
the Executive Committee. The term of service shall be three years with
terms staggered so approximately one third of appointments expire each
year. Shorter terms may be made to fill vacancies and maintain a rotation
Section 3. The Administrative Committee may appoint an Endowment Fund
Administrator to administer the affairs of the Fund in accordance with
policies and rules which the Administrative Committee will establish.
Section 4. The Affirmation Treasurer shall be the custodian of the monetary
assets of the Endowment Fund. Funds are to be invested and disbursed in
accordance with the directions of the Administrative Committee.
Section 5. A report of Endowment Fund finances and activities shall
be made regularly to the Affirmation National President and Executive Committee.
Annually, a financial report of the Endowment Fund shall be made available
to the general membership of Affirmation.
(Revised Sept. 1998)
Addendum: Affirmation's Youth Services
Ratified into Affirmation's Bylaws on September 5, 1998 at the Annual
Conference in Portland, Oregon
Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons endorses community-based and national
initiatives which assist youth and young adults who are gay, lesbian,
bisexual, transgendered, or questioning their sexuality (GLBTQ). Affirmation's
Youth Services relies upon such initiatives to promote positive emotional,
spiritual, and psychological development among Mormon affiliated youth
and young adults who struggle with their sexual orientation. By providing
information about and referral to such initiatives, Affirmation serves
as a link between community resources and young individuals in need.
Affirmation believes health and wellness is possible for Mormon affiliated
GLBTQ people of all ages who accept themselves. By supporting those service
initiatives that believe similarly, we hope to preserve the physical and
spiritual lives of GLBTQ youth, and thereby reduce risk behaviors including
intra-personal violence (suicide and other self-destructive acts), alcoholism,
HIV transmission, sexual and emotional exploitation, substance abuse,
dropping out of school, running away, and exposure to unhealthy adult
role models and environments which seek to exploit youth sexually, physically,
spiritually, and emotionally.