By-Laws

 

LSM STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:

The Lesbian Sex Mafia is a social and educational organization for women who have a positive personal interest in BDSM with other women. Our tenets are safety, consensuality, confidentiality and the right of women to explore their sexuality as they choose. Membership in Lesbian Sex Mafia is open to all women 18 years of age or older, including transsexual and intersexed women who live their daily lives as women and all female-born transgender people who feel they have a connection with and respect for the women’s community. All mentions of “women” in the by-laws should be interpreted inclusively to apply equally to female-born transgender people who feel they have a connection with and respect for the women’s community.

 

MEMBERSHIP:

Becoming a Member. Applicants for Membership must complete an LSM Orientation Procedure and complete and submit an Application for Membership.

Active Membership is the result of the approval of an Application for Membership, completion of the Orientation Procedure and payment of Annual Dues, or application for an Annual Dues Waiver. Active Membership is maintained thereafter by observance of the basic tenets of LSM and payment of Annual Dues or application for an Annual Dues Waiver.

Members who lapse in payment of Annual Dues may reactivate their Membership at any point through payment of the current Annual Dues or application for an Annual Dues Waiver. No woman shall be refused Membership based on ability to pay. Annual Dues Waivers are granted upon confidential application to the Treasurer.

 

Rules of Membership

 

Safety. LSM Members are required to take all established precautions to insure physical and emotional safety, and to take established precautions against the spreading of disease or infection at LSM functions.

Consensuality. LSM Members are required to act to assure the consent of all parties with whom they engage in BDSM activities and to honor stated limits at LSM functions.

Confidentiality. Every Member retains her right to be as public or as private as she chooses. Full names, phone numbers, street addresses, electronic addresses, visual images or any other identifying information about Members shall not be shown or given to other Members or non-members without the Member’s consent.

LSM information and materials may not be used for the financial gain of Members or non-members and may not be published or distributed outside of LSM functions and official communications without the explicit and prior permission of LSM. (see “Handling of LSM Materials & Information” under “OFFICERS”)

Voting. Active Members may vote in Business Meetings, Officer Elections, Officer Recall, By-Laws Revisions and Disciplinary Proceedings. For Officer Elections and By-Laws Revisions to be valid a minimum of 20 percent of the Active Membership must cast ballots. A quorum shall consist of 20 percent of the Active Membership and must be convened for a Disciplinary Proceeding or Officer Recall. Active Members may cast ballots by postal or electronic mail for Elections and other votes which are announced in advance with the exceptions of Disciplinary Actions, Officer Recalls, and any other matter where testimony is to be heard before balloting occurs.

Public Relations. Speaking as a representative of LSM requires prior approval of the Membership, and approval may be granted only for specific events or situations. When a request is received for a speaker or panelist from LSM that is not for the purpose of representing the organization any member may apply to accept the invitation. The Membership will select the speakers or panelists from all who apply.

Disciplinary Actions. For willful and egregious violation of the rules of safety, consensuality or confidentiality, revocation of membership is mandatory. For other forms of misconduct penalties may include warning, probation or revocation of membership.

Membership Revocation & Disciplinary Procedure. A Member with a complaint against another Member that may warrant Disciplinary Action should bring the matter to a business meeting within a reasonable time of the event’s occurrence.

The complaining Member may have an Officer raise the matter on her behalf however the complaining Member must be present as no Member shall be judged based upon anonymous, second-hand or hearsay evidence. The Member in question must be notified immediately of the complaint against her and the specific allegations.

The matter will be raised at a subsequent Business Meeting where the allegation(s) will be presented in full and equal opportunity will be given for rebuttal. The complaining Member must be present at this meeting and the Member in question has the right to be present at this meeting.

The question of the validity of the allegation(s) will be decided by secret ballot of the Active Membership present. If warranted the question of any penalty to be imposed will be decided by secret ballot of the Active Membership present.

A two-thirds majority is needed to decide any questions in the proceeding. A quorum, present for the entirety of the proceedings, is required for a vote on either question to be valid and all who vote must be in attendance for the entire proceeding.

OFFICERS:

The Officers Committee may be composed of the following positions. Simple vote of Active Membership can create additional positions as needed, although it bears noting that this is a voting body and it is therefore optimal to have an odd number of Offices overall:

Chair. Develop programming with input from other officers and as much as possible from Active Membership. Arrange schedules, calendars and presenters for meetings, workshops or other LSM functions as needed. Develop/manage the agenda for Officers Committee meetings and business meetings and ensure that the preceding have facilitators.

Secretary. Keeps minutes of Officers Committee meetings and business meetings. Records changes in policy or procedures in Policies and Procedures document. Develops and maintains LSM’s relationships within the leather community or the LGBT communities. Maintains the LSM Archives.

Orientation. Coordinate, schedule and chair events of the Orientation/Safety Procedure. Supply names and all contact information of approved applicants to Treasurer. Supplies names of all women declined for membership to Treasurer and Membership Officer. Creates a written documentation of decisions to decline or withhold membership and supplies these to the Secretary or Archivist as appropriate.

Communications. Creates and distributes the monthly newsletter of the group and any other regular communications to the group. Creates and distributes group PR materials.

Treasurer. Maintains LSM’s bank account. Receives and disburses LSM funds. Supplies regular financial reports to the group. Maintains incorporation status and apprises Officers of related requirements. Collects door fees at all regular and special events. Coordinates all sales of LSM merchandise and any advance ticket sales to LSM events. Coordinates with Membership Officer to maintain accurate lists of Active and Inactive Membership.

Membership. Compiles and maintains current and accurate lists of Active Members, Inactive Members, expelled Members, women declined Membership, and Orientees, including date of Orientation and date of Safety Workshop attendance where appropriate. Works with Orientation Officer and Treasurer to incorporate new information as quickly as possible and maintain accurate and current records. Supplies door lists for meetings and special events as needed. Supplies mailing labels to Communications Officer for regular mailings.

National Outreach. Actively pursues establishing reciprocal relationships with other groups. Keeps current list of reciprocal groups; sends the LSM newsletter and any other informational communications of LSM to Reciprocal Groups; keeps Membership Officer apprised of new Reciprocal Groups. Provides information on other organization’s events to Communications Officer. Keeps mailing, emailing and other contact information of other organizations and makes it available to Membership and Officers Committee.

Leaving Elected Office. Each Officer is responsible for helping her successor take up her task in an orderly manner and to transfer all LSM property to her successor or the Archivist as appropriate. Officers may not retain digital or hard copies of LSM databases and after transferring information to their successors or the Archivist must remove LSM confidential information from their computers.

Failure to release LSM Property to the Archivist or appropriate succeeding Officer upon leaving office shall constitute grounds for a Disciplinary Proceeding and/or legal action. Upon leaving Office the retention of confidential information given to or gathered by an Officer in the fulfillment of her duties shall be construed as a breach of confidentiality and constitutes grounds for a Disciplinary Procedure. Non-Officer Members entrusted by Officers or Membership with LSM Property are bound by the same provisions as Officers.

Replacing an Officer. If a position becomes vacant prior to the annual election a special election will be scheduled as soon as possible. The Officers Committee will act to fulfill those duties until a new Officer is elected.

If an Officer is acting in a manner that is detrimental to the group or is deemed delinquent in her duties a motion may be put before the Membership recommending discharge of the Officer. A quorum must be present for a vote on the discharging an Officer and a two-thirds vote is needed for it to pass.

HANDLING OF LSM MATERIALS & INFORMATION:

All Membership information, databases, and materials generated by LSM, its Membership or Officers in the execution of LSM business or created for the sole use of LSM is the sole Property of LSM. LSM Property may be used to conduct authorized LSM business. Any other use requires the prior and explicit permission of the Membership. Unauthorized use of LSM property constitutes misuse and is strictly prohibited. Misuse of LSM property shall be construed as a serious breach of confidentiality when confidential materials are involved.

MEETINGS & SPECIAL EVENTS:

Admission. Unless otherwise designated, LSM Meetings and Special Events are for women only. Unless designated as Members Only, LSM Meetings and Special Events are open to all women. All Meetings and Special Events are open to all Members and Members of Reciprocal Organizations and must be scheduled in advance and notice distributed to Active Membership in advance. LSM business will be conducted at regularly scheduled meetings in which all Active Members may vote.

No Member shall be refused admission to an LSM function based upon ability to pay. LSM reserves the right to decline admission to any non-member it believes will not uphold the tenets of safety, consensuality and confidentiality.

Conduct. Attendees of LSM functions are required to act in a manner that is respectful of others.

Controlled Substances. Controlled substances obtained without a prescription are prohibited at LSM Meetings and Special Events.

Recording of Visual Images. The recording of visual images at LSM Meetings and Special events requires prior and explicit permission of LSM. Anyone recording visual images must obtain the prior and explicit consent of all subjects and any identifiable individuals in the background. LSM assumes no legal liability for use made of images of Members or non-members at LSM events.

RECIPROCAL AGREEMENTS

LSM may establish reciprocity with any group who shares our commitment to safety, consensuality and confidentiality.

Members of a Reciprocal Group may attend any LSM Members Only function without prior notice. When attending a function designated as “Members Only,” they should have proof of membership or an LSM member vouch for their membership.

PROCEDURE FOR AMENDMENT TO THE BY-LAWS:

Recommendations for amendments to the by-laws may be presented by the Officers Committee or by a petition signed by 20 percent of the Active Membership. The proposal must include: (1) the current wording to be amended, (2) proposed new wording of the amendment, (3) reasons for the change. The Officers Committee will inform a petitioner of the exact number of signatures required. The proposed changes will be announced in the newsletter and voted on at the next Business Meeting. Ballots must be cast by a minimum of 20 percent of the Active Membership in order for the vote to be valid (see “Voting”). A two-thirds vote is necessary for ratification.

ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

Note: Resolution No. 1 is superseded by the Statement of Purpose adopted 10/99, the language of which makes clear that:

Transsexual women who live their daily lives as women are among the intended membership of LSM and are not subject to any terms of membership, application for membership or membership procedure that differ from those of any other woman.

1. Transsexuals shall be evaluated by the Orientation Committee on a case-by-case basis using the same criteria applied to other women. It should be noted, however, that failure to disclose transsexualism constitutes misrepresentation, which is grounds for refusing or revoking membership.

2. The Executive Committee or General Membership may authorize the Treasurer to send flowers to any member hospitalized, or who suffers the loss of a loved one or immediate family member.

3. The office of Founding Co-Coordinator has been created for the two primary original founders of the Lesbian Sex Mafia, Jo Arnone and Dorothy Allison. They are exempt from annual dues. They will serve as advisors, historians, and consultants on policy.

ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

Added into the Statement of Purpose 11/03 in “ ”:

Membership in Lesbian Sex Mafia is open to all women 18 years of age or older including transsexual and intersexed women who live their daily lives as women, “and all female-born transgendered persons. All mentions of “women” in the bylaws should be interpreted inclusively to apply equally to include female-born transgendered persons.”