Bylaws & Guidelines
Chapter Guidelines for Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons
These guidelines are to assist existing and new chapters of Affirmation to follow our General Charter. Each chapter should follow these guidelines so that we may work together to achieve our goals and present a unified image. These guidelines should be implemented with an overriding spirit of love and concern for our sisters and brothers.
I. General Guidelines
- Affirmation meets primarily as a group of Mormons; therefore, all functions and conduct should reflect Christian/Mormon values. While an open spirit of honest inquiry is encouraged, disrespect and insult for anyone's religious beliefs is never appropriate.
- No meetings, socials, or activities should be held that would by their nature exclude women. Women and men are equal in Affirmation and our conduct, image, literature and outreach should encourage their full participation.
- Every new member of Affirmation should be given a copy of the General Charter and be encouraged to read it. At least once a year, a meeting should be devoted to a discussion of the purpose and goals of Affirmation as stated in the General Charter.
- Each chapter should have a chapter leader and a representative to the Council of Chapter Representatives who can speak and vote for the chapter. These people must be fully supportive of the General Charter. Chapters are free to establish any other staff positions according to local needs.
- Membership lists and mailing lists must be kept confidential. For more information, read Section V of these guidelines.
II. Meeting Guidelines
- Each chapter should schedule regular meetings, with at least one meeting per month.
- Suggested meetings may include (but are not limited to): 1) "family home evening" type meetings where there is a discussion format, 2) formal "fireside" type meetings where there is a speaker and 3) a spiritual meeting, such as scripture study, prayer or singing. Discussion of Affirmation business, goals, and direction should occasionally be a meeting topic.
- Speakers at meetings should be consistent with the stated purpose in the General Charter. Affirmation should provide a positive and uplifting experience to those attending and speakers should reflect that.
- Meetings may begin with a prayer, particularly those with a spiritual focus.
- Meetings should always allow sufficient time for fellowshipping and socializing.
- The Word of Wisdom should be observed at all official Affirmation meetings. For more information, see Section III.B.
- While individuals are encouraged to exercise their priesthood as needed, Affirmation as an organization does not perform or officially endorse priesthood functions.
III. Social Guidelines
- Socials should be held periodically, preferably at least once a month. Socials can cover a wide range of interests according to the tastes and needs of the individual members within each chapter.
- Affirmation respects the right of individuals to exercise their free agency regarding observance of the Word of Wisdom. However, no chapter should ever provide products that violate the Word of Wisdom at Affirmation socials.
IV. Newsletter Guidelines
V. Records and Confidentiality Guidelines
- Affinity is the official publication of Affirmation and
members should be encouraged to subscribe to it.
- Each chapter should have a local newsletter that is distributed on a regular basis, preferably monthly, in printed or electronic format.
- Local chapter newsletters must clearly indicate the name of the organization as "Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons." This also applies to any brochure, pamphlet, or other document that may be published.
- Local chapter newsletters should present a positive and uplifting image that is consistent with our goals of educating, supporting and helping our brothers and sisters deal with gay, lesbian and bisexual issues.
- Local chapter newsletters should be distributed to all other chapters and to the Executive Director and the National P. O. Box.
- All the records kept by Affirmation, printed and electronic, are the private and confidential property of Affirmation and must not be used for any purpose except the one for which they were created. Affirmation officers at the national or local level hold all records in trust for Affirmation, which retains perpetual and exclusive ownership of all such records and may demand their return from any officer at any time for any reason.
When national officers resign or are removed, or when their terms expire, they must promptly deliver all records to the Executive Committee. When local chapter officers resign or are removed, or when their terms expire, they must promptly deliver all records to the chapter's presiding officer or to their replacement. If a local chapter dissolves or loses its status, its members must promptly deliver all records to the Executive Committee.
Officers are responsible for arranging, in advance, a mechanism for ensuring the return of all Affirmation records to the Executive Committee upon the termination of their status as officers for whatever reason. Such a mechanism should be submitted to the Executive Committee for its review and approval in every instance.
These Chapter Guidelines were adopted by the General Council
on March 13, 1982 and updated in April, 1997, and July, 2004.