The RFSL bylaws. They were last revised by the RFSL congress in Borås October 18-20 2019.
§ 1. The organisation’s name and purpose
1.1 Our name is RFSL. The name stands for The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights
1.2 We are a non-profit organisation that from a human rights perspective works with and for the rights of homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender persons, persons with queer identities and expressions and intersex persons.
1.3 Our vision is a society characterized by diversity, openness and respect for people’s differences, where everybody, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics have the same rights and obligations, equal value and equal opportunity to live and work.
1.4 We work locally, nationally and internationally aiming to:
1. Change society towards our vision. This is among other things done through promoting research, promoting and advocating factual information and conducting education and initiating and keeping contact with similar organisations in and outside of Sweden.
2. Offer help to people who have been maltreated or are in a difficult situation because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics or because of how the they have chosen to express this.
3. Promote collaboration between the national organisations member groups, its branches and the youth organisation.
1.5 We are a feminist and anti-racist organisation that is party politically idependent and religiously unbound.
§ 2. Organisation and work
2.1 RFSL consists of members, brought together into an organisation via the branches.
2.2 The association board of trustees is responsible for the organisation’s national and international work and to coordinate and give support to the branches’ work in between congresses.
2.3 Branches conduct independent work within the framework of the rules adopted by congress, guiding principles and other congress decisions.
2.4 The association board of trustees determines the organisation and working forms of the RFSL National Office.
2.5 RFSL Ungdom is connected to the National Association. The youth organisation is an independent organisation with its own bylaws, decided upon by the youth organisation. The youth organisation’s bylaws and goals may not oppose RFSL’s current steering documents and goals.
2.6 RFSL should cooperate closely with the independent youth organisation on the issues that both organisations agree they have in common. The forms of cooperation should be regulated in an agreement between RFSL and the youth organisation.
2.7 In boards, working groups and similar, diversity when it comes to sexual orientation, sexuality, gender identity and gender expression, health, ethnicity, religion or other belief, functionality, age, socioeconomic background and geographic spread, should be pursued.
2.8 There should be working regulations that have been adopted by the congress for the work of the nominating committee and the auditors.
§ 3. Membership
3.1 Everybody who stands behind our purpose and our vision can become a member of RFSL.
3.2 Membership is applied for at a branch.
3.3 The person who is a member of RFSL Ungdom can also choose to be a member of RFSL. Until the year that a member of RFSL Ungdom turns 26, they are a member of RFSL at no cost.
§ 4. Exclusion of a member
4.1 The association board of trustees can exclude a member that has seriously harmed, or risks to seriously harm, the organisation’s or a branch’s work or reputation, to a substantial degree counteracts the organisation’s purpose and goals or if other serious reasons exist.
4.2 The branch’s board can request that the association board of trustees should try the question of excluding a member of the branch. The association board of trustees can also itself raise the question of exclusion.
4.3 Before the association board of trustees makes a decision about excluding a member the association board of trustees should, if possible, communicate with the branch where the person is a member. The member should also be offered the opportunity to communicate with the association board of trustees.
4.4 In order for an exclusion to happen at least two thirds of all of the association board of trustees’ members must support it. The decision can be appealed to the organisation’s congress.
4.5 Decision about exclusion should be motivated. The decision should be valid for a certain time but never longer than ten years. The association board of trustees should inform the member and the affected branch about the exclusion in writing.
§ 5.Prohibition against having a position of trust
5.1 If a member abuses their position of trust, breaks the RFSL bylaws, guiding principles or congress decisions, or in another way exposes the organisation to risk or harm, the association board of trustees can decide to ban them from having a position of trust within RFSL. The board of the branch can request that the association board of trustees should decide on the issue of prohibiting a member of the branch to have a position of trust within RFSL. The association board of trustees itself can also raise the issue.
5.2 Before the association board of trustees makes a decision about banning a member from having a position of trust within RFSL the association board of trustees should, if possible, communicate with the branch that the member is a member of. The member should also be given the opportunity to communicate with the association board of trustees.
5.3 In order to ban a member from having a position of trust within RFSL at least two thirds of the association board of trustees’ members must support this. The decision can be appealed to the organisation’s congress.
5.4 The decision should be motivated. The decision should be valid for a certain period of time but never longer than ten years. The association board of trustees informs the member and the affected branch about the ban of having a position of trust within RFSL in writing.
§ 6. Branches
6.1 The RFSL branch bylaws, that are decided upon by congress, apply to branches within RFSL. Congress’ changes of the branch bylaws are valid after the branch confirms them.
6.2 An organisation can only be affiliated with the National Association as a branch if the organisation accepts the RFSL branch bylaws.
6.3 The association board of trustees decides about affiliation.
6.4 The association board of trustees can exclude a branch that breaks the RFSL bylaws, guiding principles or congress decisions, puts the organisation at risk of harm or to a substantial degree opposes the organisation’s purposes and goals. The decision about exclusion is made with qualified majority of at least two thirds of the association board of trustees’ members after the members of the branch have had the opportunity to speak. The decision can be appealed to the congress.
6.5 The association board of trustees can decide on the closing of a branch if it has less than three members and hasn’t had an annual meeting according to the bylaws during the current year and the year before. The decision should be made after the branch’s members are given the opportunity to jointhe nearest branch.
6.6 If there’s suspicion about, or proof of, that a branch has gravely mismanaged their work in relation to the statutes, guiding principles, congress decisions, donors or member, the association board of trustees can take over the branch’s management. The management can only go on for a limited period of time until an annual meeting can be held.
§ 7. The branches’ external enterprises
7.1 Organisations, foundations or companies are defined as a branch’s external enterprises when one or more of the RFSL branches directly or indirectly have decisive influence. With decisive influence we mean that one or more of the RFSL branches together own at least half of the stock or shares in a company, make up at least half of the members of an organisation or have the right to appoint at least half of the members of the board in a company, an organisation or a foundation. This also applies to other enterprises that use the name RFSL, legally or in external communication, and where RFSL has influence.
7.2 In order to start or to join such an external enterprise that is described in § 7.1 a permission from the association board of trustees is needed.
7.3 If a branch’s external enterprises have gravely mismanaged their commitments in relation to statutes, guiding principles, congress decisions, donors or members, the association board of trustees can take over the management of the branch’s external enterprises. The decision is made after consulting the National Association’s auditors. Management can only continue for a limited period of time until an annual meeting can be held in the affected branches and the affected enterprise.
§ 8. Membership fee
8.1 The congress establishes the membership fee that each member is to pay. Membership fee must be paid from the year that a person turns 26.
8.2 The congress decides about how the earnings from the membership fees should be distributed.
8.3 The association board of trustees can for a reduced period of time allow a reduced membership fee.
§ 9. Economy
9.1 The National Association’s financial year is the calendar year.
9.2 The association board of trustees decides about an annual budget and operational plan based on the plan for RFSL’s goals and direction that is decided upon by congress.
9.3 The National Association pays the trip to board meetings for all members of the association board of trustees and their alternates.
§ 10. Congress
10.1 The congress is the highest decision-making body inside the organisation and consists of representatives from the branches and the youth organisation. The number of representatives a branch has a right to appoint is determined by the number of members the branch had on December 31 the year before according to the information below.
10.2 Each branch has the right to appoint two representatives. A branch with at least 200 members has the right to appoint an additional representative for every additional 200 members.
10.3 They youth organisation has the right to appoint five representatives. A branch that has been accepted as a branch of the organisation after December 31 has the right to appoint two representatives.
10.4 Every member of the organisation has the right to attend, speak and make suggestions at the congress and submit a motion to the ordinary congress of RFSL. Branches and RFSL Ungdom have the right to submit motions to the ordinary congress of RFSL.
10.5 Every representative has a vote. Closed ballots are used in the election of individuals, if a representative asks for it. Closed ballots are applied in other issues if one third of the voting representatives vote for it. Simple majority applies if the statutes don’t state otherwise. In an equal number of votes the drawing of lots decides.
§ 11. Ordinary congress
11.1 Ordinary congress is held every other year (odd years), at the earliest in August and the latest in October.
11.2 The association board of trustees issues a summons to ordinary congress. The summons should have reached all branches no later than seven months before the congress.
11.3 Motions should have been submitted to the congress no later than five months before congress.
11.4 Documents that are to be decided upon at the congress should have reached the branches no later than four weeks before the congress.
11.5 The following items are to be dealt with at the congress:
- Opening of the congress
- Adjustment of representative’s register
- Election of chairman and secretary
- Election of two adjustors and two tellers
- Ask if the congress is called according to the statutes
- Establishment of agenda
- Establishment of deadline for nomination for all elections
- Election of congress committee
- Account of the organisation’s work and economy
- The auditors’ reports
- Question of discharge of liability for the association board of trustees
- Motions and bills
- RFSL’s goal and direction
- Fees: a)Membership fees, b)Distribution of the earnings from the membership fee
- Election of association board of trustees: a) establishment of the number of members and alternates, b) election of president, c) election of vice president, d) election of treasurer, e) election of board members, election of board alternates
- Other elections: a) election of auditors and alternates, b) election of nominating committee, c) election of working groups
- Closing of the congress
11.6 Motion or bill that hasn’t reached all branches in time before congress can only be treated if the congress agrees to it with a two thirds majority.
§ 12. Extra congress
12.1 An extra congress should be held to treat special issues after a decision by the congress or the association board of trustees, or after a written request by one of the organisation’s auditors, at least a third of the branches or at least five per cent of the organisation’s members. The association board of trustees should send a summons to an extra congress as soon as such can be held after the request has been made to the association board of trustees. If that doesn’t happen the organisation’s auditors should convene the extra congress. An extra congress should be held eight weeks after having been requested.
12.2 At an extra congress only issues that the congress or association board of trustees have specified or issues that are cited in the request for the congress are treated.
12.3 Documents on the issues that are to be decided upon should be sent to the branches no later than three weeks before congress.
§ 13. The association board of trustees
13.1 The association board of trustees is elected by the congress and is, next to the congress, the organisation’s highest decision-making body.
13.2 The association board of trustees should consist of a president, a vice president, a treasurer, a representative from the youth organisation and an additional four to nine members. The congress also elects a suitable number of alternates. The alternates enter service in the order the congress decides. Diversity in the association board of trustees should be strived for in accordance with § 2.7.
13.3 The term of office for the board members and alternates is two years.
13.4 RFSL Ungdom elects the representative from the youth organisation and its alternate. RFSL Ungdom decides the term of office for the youth organisation’s representative and its alternate.
13.5 The association board of trustees should have at least four (4) meetings per year. A meeting should be held if the president, at least three members of the board or the organisation’s auditors requests it.
13.6 All members of the organisation have the right to attend, speak and make suggestions at the association board of trustee’s meetings. Only a member of the association board of trustees or acting alternate has the right to vote. As a member of the association board of trustees the youth representative has the right to vote. A closed ballot is applied in voting for an individual. When voting simple majority applies. At equal votes the chairman’s vote is decisive, except in voting for an individual where the drawing of lots decides.
13.7 The association board of trustees can decide that certain issues regarding personal matters, staff matters, corporate matters and matters regarding the foundation are confidential. The item on the agenda is in that case not open to others than board members, alternates and specially invited rapporteurs.
13.8 The association board of trustees is competent to act if half of its members or their serving alternates are present. The list of issues that are to be treated should have been communicated to all members and alternates a week before the meeting. An issue that hasn’t been communicated a week before the meeting can be put on the agenda if the association board of trustees allows it through a decision made with simple majority.
13.9 A person who is employed by the national office, who is elected to the nominating committee or is an auditor cannot be elected to the association board of trustees.
§ 14. Nominating committee
14.1 The nominating committee is elected by the congress and should consist of five to eight members, of which one is the convenor.
14.2 The nominating committees work should be run in accordance with the rules of procedure adopted by the congress.
14.3 The election of the nominating committee is managed by an electoral committee elected by the congress.
14.4 The nominating committee is responsible for gathering the pre-nominations for a new nominating committee before congress and give these to the electoral committee.
§ 15. Auditing
15.1 The organisation’s bookkeeping and management should be audited by at least three auditors that are appointed by the congress, of which one should be a certified accountant. The congress can appoint either a natural person or a legal person that in turn provides a certified accountant as a certified accountant. The congress should also appoint at least one alternate for the accountants. If the congress appoints a natural person as certified accountant at least one alternate should be appointed.
15.2 If the congress appoints a natural person to provide a certified accountant, the accountant that the natural person suggests must be approved by the other auditors that the congress has appointed.
15.3 The auditing should be done according to the accountants’ working regulations and good auditing standards. The auditors should leave a report about their work to the ordinary congress.
15.4 The organisation’s auditors, regardless of if they’re natural or legal persons, can be appointed for no more than five terms of office.
§ 16. Alterations in the bylaws
16.1 These bylaws can be altered only through identical decisions at two consecutive congresses. Alterations of § 2-14 can also be done through a decision at one single congress if at least two thirds of the voting representatives and more than half of all the representatives in the representative’s register votes for it.
§ 17. Dissolution of the organisation
17.2 If the organisation is dissolved the documentation that remains should go to an organisation with a similar purpose.
17.3 The organisation’s documents should after dissolution be handed over to the Swedish National Archives.
17.4 The organisation’s media should after a dissolution be handed over to the National Library of Sweden