Seattle Conference: A Report of the General Business Meeting
Amendment Passed on Article V of the Charter
by Affirmation's Executive Secretary Olin Thomas
The General Business Meeting of Affirmation, which is held every year at our Conference, was more eventful than usual this year. After the meeting was called to order by Joshua Behn, Affirmation President, Josh asked if there was any new business to be brought before the assembly. Bruce Maughan then made a motion to re-open nominations for President. The motion was seconded by Tina Richerson and a discussion followed. David Melson opposed the motion, stating Oct. 15 had always been the deadline. Olin Thomas supported the motion, stating the traditional deadline had been the end of Saturday of Conference, to allow discussion amongst members at conference, and the Oct. 15 additional deadline had been added later (around 2000). He felt it was in the best interest of the organization to have the opportunity for nominations through the general business session, as discussions at conference could change people's minds. A vote was called and twenty-four were in favor, seven opposed, with many members abstaining from the vote. The vote allowed the floor to be opened to new nominations for President.
At that time, Judy nominated Randall Thacker for President. No other nominations were made, and Randall accepted the nomination. Following this, nominations were closed without opposition and the Candidates were asked to address the assembly. First was Emmanuel Andro, who announced he was removing his name from the ballot. Next, Hugo Salinas spoke and anounced he also was removing his name from the ballot. Then Robert Moore spoke concerning his candidacy, service in Affirmation and goals if elected. The last speaker was Randall Thacker who addressed the assembled members about his path to becoming a candidate, his vision of Affirmation's future and desires to serve Gay Mormons.
Watch: Statement by Robert Moore
Watch: Statement by Randall Thacker
There were also three proposals to change either our Charter or the Bylaws. The first proposal was to change the Charter, Article V, "Legislation". This was proposed by: Olin Thomas (primary) with Bruce Maughan, Randall Thacker, Hugo Salinas and Joshua Behn. The proposal would have all future changes to Charter or By-Laws to be voted on by all members, through mailed or electronic ballots, rather than the current process of Executive Committee, Council of Chapter Representatives and final approval at the next General Business Session. Questions or comments were offered by Dave Melson, Anna Gershwin, Emmanuel Andro, Deborah Griffin, and Sam Wolfe. The only major question was about a provision in the proposal that would allow the executive committee to not bring "frivolous" measures to a vote. The Executive Secretary called for an non-binding poll of the attendees and an overwhelming majority were in favor of leaving that provision in, so the vote proceeded on the original proposal. Forty-seven were in favor, two opposed, and therefore the proposed change is adopted. You can read the full text of the change here.
The legislative guide distributed by the Conference Committee included a proposal to change Article III of the By-Laws, Election of the President, and Article VII, Duties of the Executive Committee. However, this was withdrawn, as it was not submitted by three members to for consideration. The member who proposed it, Emmanuel Andro, said it was a suggestion for the E.C. to consider and as the E.C. did not wish to adopt it, the proposal was withdrawn.
The third proposal was to change the Charter's Foreword and Article III "Purpose". The proposal would have changed the Foreword by substituting a passage from John, Chapter 9 for D&C 58:26-28, which is currently used. Article III would have been reworded in various ways. This measure was proposed by Emmanuel Andro (primary), supported by Tina Richerson and Todd Maxwell. The discussion included statements by members David Melson, Robert Graves, John Gustav-Wrathall, Hugo Salinas, Mark Packer, Judy, and Chris Doss. When the vote was called for, one person was in favor, thirty-six opposed and six abstained. The proposal is therefore not adopted.
At this time the meeting was closed and members proceeded to the Awards Ceremony and evening entertainment, which was a dance organized by Colby Goddard.
Article V of the Affirmation Charter
Amended in Seattle, Washington, on October 20, 2012
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.