Notice of GaL-AA Bylaw Updates
Dear Members of GaL-AA:
At the Executive Committee’s face-to-face meeting in Troy Michigan in mid-March, the committee unanimously voted to revise the GaL-AA bylaws that had been in effect since August 29, 2014. These changes do not affect your overall rights as members of GaL-AA and they are summarized below. A version marked to show the changes we are proposing is posted here. According to Article 13 of the bylaws, the revised bylaws shall be posted on our website. As members of GaL-AA, the bylaws empower you to challenge the proposed revisions.
Summary of changes:
- References to lesbians, gay men and other gay people have been replaced with the more current/appropriate term “LGBT+”.
- The Statement of Inclusion in Article 3 was brought up to date with changes made by the Executive Committee at another in-person meeting in October of 2016.
- Article 7.2 was revised to require one in-person meeting annually as opposed to two (the committee believes there is a cost benefit associated with this change).
- We made other stylistic/non-material changes throughout the bylaws to correct typographical errors, misspellings and punctuation and use better grammar.
As further provided in Article 13, as members, you may challenge revisions at any time prior to October 11, 2017. As was always required, a challenge must be submitted to the GaL-AA chairperson in writing and shall include justification for the challenge. The committee will uphold or deny any challenges received at a subsequent meeting as further provided in Article 13.
Please take a moment to review the revised bylaws. Send any questions or challenge related e-mails to us using the contact form under “Contact Us”. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the LGBT+ AA community.
GaL-AA Executive Committee
GaL-AA Summer Newsletter is here!
GaL-AA at “Together We Can”, Detroit, MI
The GaL-AA committee had a wonderful time meeting all the fabulous folks in Detroit, made some great connections and started rounding up volunteers for the International AA Convention in 2020.
The executive committee would like to send a special THANK YOU to the “Together We Can” committee in Detroit for their generous hospitality in hosting us for the two days prior to the roundup and for all the warm and friendly people we met over the weekend. Besides having our usual face-to-face business meetings, the GaL-AA committee manned a table with information about GaL-AA and signup lists for the 2020 International AA Convention. Denise R. spoke briefly on Friday night about our overall purpose and to introduce the rest of the committee. Saturday afternoon, the GaL-AA committee presented a workshop on GaL-AA and locale activities/formation of a Detroit International ad hoc committee. The response from conference attendees was overwhelming and we had many folks signed up for future interest. Over the next year, we will begin to work with Randall R. who will be our Advisor on the GaL-AA committee to work directly with the Detroit International committee to begin forming sub committees responsible for overseeing all the activities at the 2020 International Convention.
In addition to our recruiting efforts at the roundup, the GaL-AA committee decided on a cost-saving measure. We will reduce our mandatory two face-to-face business meetings each year, to just one. We are also enhancing our meetings database to provide links directly to Intergroup and Area websites with filters to LGBT+ meetings if applicable. This approach will allow us to serve those largest cities around the country that are closest to the meetings to keep them as up-to-date as possible.
Contributing to GaL-AA
7th Tradition: Self-Support and 12th Step Work
We received inquiries from members on our committee’s use of funds. Like all groups in our fellowship, GaL-AA is self-supporting and relies on contributions from groups and individuals. In keeping with the 7th Tradition, we do not accept donations from non-AA sources. Groups (regularly, some sporadically) send monies to GaL- AA from meeting collections. We also receive contributions from AA round-up committees, and individual AA members send contributions as a way of giving back to the fellowship – in short, GaL-AA’s operating funds come from you.
What we do with contributions? We maintain an internet website, operate hospitality suites at AA’s International Conventions, distribute literature, sponsor registrations for round-up attendees that lack resources, maintain databases of LGBT meetings and roundups, mass mail communications about and from GaL-AA to AA members, and pay fees to service providers necessary for our operations. None of our committee members are compensated with contributions (each donates his or her time freely). We do not use funds for travel expenses (other than hotel accommodations for limited in-person meetings annually), and we meet monthly online so we do not have normal rental expense. Although different from home groups’, our expenses are necessary in performing 12-Step work. A summary of contributions from groups/sources is below. Is your group contributing or should it consider contributing? There is an AA world outside any home group that includes special purpose groups (other groups similar to GaL-AA with individuals from distinct backgrounds: International Doctors in AA, International Lawyers in AA, “Birds of a Feather”/ airline pilots and aviation professionals in AA, etc.), the fellowship’s General Service Office (GSO), regional intergroups, district and area committees. No matter what their composition, special purpose groups have the same primary purpose as any AA group: carrying the AA message to the alcoholic who still suffers. We are united in the first tradition with one another as it states our common welfare comes first with personal recovery depending upon unity. What a great tradition that binds us.
AA’s GSO has suggested guidance on the 7th Tradition and financial matters groups should consider in adhering to the traditions and upholding the concepts for AA service. GSO’s guidelines remind groups to consider distributing excess funds for 12- Step work. Naturally, the home group’s expenses (rent, literature, coffee/snacks, other supplies) are paid before any distributions outside. The guidance recommends groups consider a plan of distribution (a matter for your group’s own conscience) for funds in order to further carry out the 5th Tradition and 12th Step work. Many group treasurers are familiar with the percentage plan for sending monies to GSO, intergroup/central office, district and area. If your group doesn’t already contribute to GaL-AA, ask your group members to consider us as another AA service entity that relies on your support to carry the message. We are grateful to the groups and individuals for their continuous support. See the website and newsletter for more information on ways to contribute. [Those interested in GSO’s guidance may find it in the AA pamphlet “Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix”: http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/f- 3_selfsupport.pdf.]
Submit your Story!
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We’d love to hear from you today!
We will notify you before publication if your story is chosen.
Yours in Service,
GaL-AA Executive Committee