Statutes

Statutes adopted by RFSL's Congress in Norrtälje on 2-4 May 2014.

 § 1. The organisation’s name and purpose

RFSL, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights, is an organisation that works with and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people, and individuals with queer identities. The organisation is politically and religiously independent.

Its purpose is:

  • to work for a society characterised by diversity, openness and respect for people’s differences; where everybody, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity and how they choose to express this orientation or identity, have the same rights and obligations, equal worth and equal possibilities to live and work
  • to offer assistance to individuals who have been treated badly or are in a difficult situation because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, or because of how they have chosen to express this orientation or identity
  • to encourage research and to promote information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people and people with queer expressions and identities
  • to encourage co-operation between the organisation’s member groups, its branches, and the youth organisation
  • to initiate and maintain contacts with similar organisations, both nationally and internationally.

 § 2. Organisation and areas of work

  • 2.1 RFSL consists of Member Branches that make up a national association. The association’s work is carried out primarily through the Congress and the Board. The Branches work independently within the framework of the Congress, RFSL’s guiding principles and other Congress decisions.
  • 2.2 The organisation and work of RFSL’s office is determined by the Association Board.
  • 2.3 The association has a youth organisation, which is an independent organisation with its own statutes, but these statutes and goals cannot conflict with RFSL’s steering documents or goals in any important matters.
  • 2.4 RFSL should work closely with the independent youth organisation in issues that both parties have determined as mutually beneficial. The forms of co-operation should be regulated in an agreement between RFSL and the youth organisation.
  • 2.5 On Boards, Working Groups and other such contexts, there should, as far as possible, be a diversity in sexual orientation, sexuality, gender identity and/or gender expression, health, ethnicity, religion or other belief system, physical and mental abilities, age, socio-economic background, and geographic spread.
  • 2.6 There should be working guidelines for the nominating committee and auditors determined by the Congress.

 § 3. Membership

  • 3.1 Individuals apply for membership at their local RFSL Branch.
  • 3.2 Individuals that are members of the youth organisation are also part of RFSL, unless they choose only to be members of the youth organisation. For other purposes, the membership is regulated by the youth organisation’s statutes.
  • 3.3 The Association Board can terminate a membership if the member does not abide by the statutes, guiding principles, or a Congress decision, or in other ways obstructs the organisation’s purposes. Before such a decision is made, the Association Board must confer with the member’s local branch. The member should be offered the opportunity to speak in front of the Association Board and the decision can be appealed to the RFSL Congress.
  • 3.4 The Association Board can decide that a member cannot hold a position of trust within RFSL if they do not abide by statutes, guiding principles, or Congress decisions, or in some other way injures the organisation or conducts themselves in a manner that is at odds with the requirements of Board Members. Before such a decision is made, the Association Board should confer with the local branch and the member be offered the opportunity to speak in front of the Association Board. The decision should be time limited, for a maximum of ten years, and can be appealed to the Congress. The appeal should be made in writing to the organisation’s auditors no later than ten days before the Congress.

 § 3a. Branches

  • 3a.1 RFSL’s branches abide by the statutes for branches determined by the Congress. The Congress’ changes in the statutes are made without the confirmation of the branches.
  • 3a.2 A branch can only join the organisation if they accept RFSL’s branch statutes.
  • 3a.3 The Association Board determines if a branch can join RFSL.
  • 3a.4 The Association Board can, after hearing what the members of the branch have to say, decide with qualified majority (2/3) to exclude branches that do not follow RFSL’s statutes, guiding principles, or Congress decisions, that work counter to the organisation, or for some other reason cannot be viewed as a branch. An appeal can be made to the Congress.
  • 3a.5 If there is suspicion, or evidence, that a branch has gravely mismanaged its duties with respect to statutes, guiding principles, Congress decisions, donors, or members, the Association Board can take over the branch’s administration. The decision is made after consulting the auditors. The administration can only last for a limited period, until an annual meeting can be held.

 § 4. Membership and association fees

  • 4.1 The branches have a common membership fee.
  • 4.2 The association is responsible for the registration of all members and collecting membership fees. The association pays the membership fees to the branches after deducting the association fee.
  • 4.3 The Congress determines the membership and association fees. The decisions made at the Congress are valid until the next Congress. The Association Board can, for a limited period, grant reductions in membership fees.

 

 § 5. Finance

  • 5.1 The association’s fiscal year is the calendar year.
  • 5.2 The Association Board determines the annual budget based on the organisation’s work plan, determined by the Congress.
  • 5.3 The association pays the travel fees to board meetings for all Board Members and their alternates.

 

 § 6. Congress

  • 6.1 The Congress is the highest decision-making body and consists of representatives from the branches and the youth organisation. The number of representatives is determined by the branch membership on 31 December of the year before the Congress.
  • 6.2 Every branch has the right to appoint two representatives. A branch with more than 200 members has the right to appoint one additional representative for every 200 additional members.
  • 6.3 The youth organisation can appoint five representatives. A branch that has joined RFSL after 31 December can appoint two representatives.
  • 6.4 Every member of RFSL has the right to attend, speak, make suggestions, and to submit motions to the regular Congress. All of the Branches and RFSL Youth have the right to submit motions at RFSL’s regular Congress.
  • 6.5 Each representative has one vote. A ballot will take place regarding individuals, if requested. A ballot can be used in other issues if one third of the voting representatives vote in favour. Simple majority rules, if the statutes do not dictate otherwise. In the event of a tie, the President’s vote becomes decisive. In elections and ballots however, voting will determine the outcome.

 

 § 7. Regular Congress

  • 7.1 A regular Congress is held every other year (even years) no later than in May.
  • 7.2 The Association Board issues an invitation to the Congress. The invitation should have reached all branches by 30 November of the previous year.
  • 7.3 Motions should be submitted to the association no later than 6 January of the year of the Congress.
  • 7.4 Documents that will be processed at Congress should be delivered to the branches no later than five weeks before.
  • 7.5 The following items should be included at the Congress:
  1. Opening of the Congress
  2. Determination of voting representatives
  3. Appointment of Chairperson and Secretary
  4. Appointment of two attestants and two tellers
  5. Confirming whether the Congress has been convened according to statutes
  6. Establishment of the agenda
  7. Appointment of Committee of the Congress
  8. Annual report and financial report
  9. The Auditors’ reports
  10. The question of freedom of liability of the Association Board
  11. Motions and propositions
  12. Operational plan
  13. Fees
  14. Membership fees
  15. Association fees
  16. Election of Association Board
  17. Appointment of other members and alternates
  18. Election of President
  19. Election of Vice President
  20. Election of Treasurer
  21. Election of other members
  22. Election of alternates
  23. Other elections
  24. Election of Auditors and their alternates
  25. Election of a Nominating Committee
  26. Election of Work Groups
  27. The conclusion of the Congress
  • 7.6  A motion or proposition that has not reached all branches in time will be considered only if Congress votes in favour by 2/3.

 

 § 8. Extraordinary Congress

  • 8.1 An Extraordinary Congress should be held to address special issues after a decision by the Congress or the Association Board, or after a written request from one of the association’s Auditors, or at least one third of the branches, or at least 5% of RFSL’s members. The Association Board should issue an invitation to an Extraordinary Congress as soon as possible after such a request has reached the Board. If that does not happen, the association Auditors should hold the Extraordinary Congress. An Extraordinary Congress should be held within eight weeks after the request has been made.
  • 8.2 At an Extraordinary Congress, only issues that are decided by the Congress or the Association Board or that have been submitted in the request for an Extraordinary Congress will be considered.
  • 8.3 Documents concerning the issues to be addressed should be sent to the branches no later than three weeks beforehand.

 

 § 9. The Association Board

  • 9.1 The Association Board is elected by the Congress and is, after the Congress, the association’s highest decision-making body.
  • 9.2 The Association Board should consist of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, a representative from RFSL Youth, and four to ten additional members. The Congress also elects a suitable number of alternates to be called in according to the order that the Congress decides. Diversity in the Association Board should be sought in accordance with § 2.5.
  • 9.3 The mandate for the ordinary members and alternates is two years.
  • 9.4 The youth organisation’s representative and alternate are chosen by RFSL Youth. The mandate for the youth representative and alternate is decided by RFSL Youth.
  • 9.5 The Association Board, that decides on the agenda, should convene at least four times a year. The Association Board should convene if at least three members or Auditors demand it.
  • 9.6 All members of the association have the right to attend, speak, and make suggestions at the Association Board Meetings. Only members of the Association Board or an alternate on duty have the right to vote. As a member of the Association Board, the youth association’s representative has the right to vote. A ballot is held only for votes on individuals. In a vote, majority rules. In the case of equal votes, the President’s vote is decisive, except when voting for individuals, when it will be decided by lottery.
  • 9.7 The Association Board can make decisions if at least half of its members or their alternates in service are present. Issues that are to be addressed should be sent to all members and alternates one week before the meeting. If that does not happen, the issue will only be addressed if the Association Board consents in a special decision made with 2/3 majority.

 

 § 10. Review

  • 10.1 The association’s bookkeeping and management should be reviewed by at least three of the Auditors appointed by the Congress, of which one should be certified. The Congress should also appoint alternates for the Auditors.
  • 10.2 If the certified Auditor leaves their post during the fiscal year, the Association Board, after discussing with the other Auditors, should appoint a new certified Auditor for the remainder of the fiscal year.
  • 10.3 The Review should be carried out in accordance with the Auditors’ regulations and good auditing standards. The Auditors should present their annual report to the regular Congress.

 

 § 11. Changes in statutes

  • 11.1 These statutes can be changed only through two similar decisions made at two consecutive Congresses. Changes of §§ 2-11 can also be made by a decision at one Congress if two thirds of those who vote and more than half of those in the voting register vote in favour of it.

 

 § 12. The dissolution of the association

  • 12.1 The association can be dissolved only through similar decisions made at two consecutive Congresses, and then only if the Congress votes for it with at least three quarters of a majority of the members in the voting register.
  • 12.2 If the association is dissolved, the assets remaining should go to organisations with a similar purpose.
  • 12.3 After a dissolution, the association’s documents shall be given to the National Archives.
  • 12.4 After a dissolution, the association’s media archives should be given to the National Library of Sweden.