The name of the body shall be the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, hereinafter referred to as the CHE.
The aims of the CHE shall be to:
- promote the principle that the homosexual has an equal right to self-fulfilment and can make an equally positive contribution in our common quest for the betterment of society and the happiness of all;
- fight for absolute equality at law between heterosexuals and homosexuals and campaign against all forms of legal and social discrimination against homosexuals;
- campaign for improved sex education in schools in order to stop the process by which existing attitudes towards homosexuals are maintained.
- ensure that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community gains full advantage from the legislation which follows implementation of the Human Rights Act.
- Membership shall be open to all persons and organisations who support the aims of the CHE and who, apart from Honorary Members, pay an annual subscription.
- Membership may be withdrawn from a person if, following a petition signed by ten members, the Executive Committee, having given notice to the member to attend its meeting, agrees by a two-thirds majority to withdraw membership. The decision of the Executive Committee shall be challengeable only by appeal to the Appeals Tribunal, which will be able to overturn the Executive Committee decision by a simple majority or (at their discretion) to refer the matter to the membership either by postal ballot or at the next Annual Conference; in both instances, a simple majority will suffice to overturn the withdrawal of membership.
- There shall be four categories of Membership:
- Campaign Members;
- Supporting Members;
- Affiliated Organisations;
- Honorary Members.
- At its sole discretion, the Executive Committee may offer annual Honorary Membership, which carries the same rights as those enjoyed by Campaign or Supporting members.
Where appropriate Members shall be formed into local groups. Members may also form groups to campaign around specific issues.
5. The Executive Committee
Subject to the overriding authority of Annual Conference, the Executive Committee shall be the governing body of the CHE, responsible for administering its affairs. The Executive Committee shall consist of six CHE members elected by the members of the CHE. Three of these members shall be elected each year to hold office for two years. The Executive Committee may co-opt up to three further members, and in addition may co-opt further members to fill vacancies. The term of office of any co-opted member will cease at the next following Annual Elections. Co-opted members shall be full members of the Executive Committee, with voting rights. Any vacancies, whether or not filled by co-opted members between Annual Elections, shall be filled at the next Annual Elections for the period up to the expiry of the original term of office. Any member failing to attend three consecutive meetings without good reason acceptable to the Executive Committee shall be deemed to have resigned.
If less than one half of the members of the Executive Committee are present at any time, any member may require that a decision on the matter under discussion may be postponed until a quorum is present.
7. The Annual Conference
- Function: The Annual Conference shall be the supreme policy making body of the CHE. The Executive Committee and any other group, body or person, having executive functions within the CHE shall be responsible to Conference for the implementation of those policies decided upon by Conference.
- Ordinary meetings of Conference: An
ordinary meeting of Conference shall be held once in every calendar
year for the following purposes:
- to receive and, if approved, to adopt the Annual Report of the Executive Committee together with an audited statement of the Accounts for the foregoing year.
- to consider and decide upon any proposals relating to the policies of the CHE.
- to consider and decide upon any proposals for the amendment of the Constitution of the CHE.
- to appoint an Appeals Tribunal of up to 5 members, who may not be Executive Committee members, who will serve until the next Annual Conference.
- Extra-Ordinary meetings of Conference: A meeting of conference other than an ordinary meeting may be convened at any time by the Executive Committee, and shall be convened within three months of the receipt by the Secretary of a requisition in writing signed by not fewer than twenty members stating the purpose for which such a meeting is required and setting out any resolutions which it is desired to propose thereat. The notice calling such an extra-ordinary meeting of Conference shall set out the purposes described and no business other than that specified shall be transacted at such a meeting.
- Composition of Conference: Every member of the CHE whose subscription is fully paid up by the day prior to the date of the meeting shall be eligible to attend and vote at any meeting of Conference subject to the payment of a registration fee, the amount of which shall be decided from time to time by the Executive Committee. Organisations which are affiliated shall have one vote.
- The ordinary meeting of Conference shall be held as soon as convenient after the end of the CHE financial year which shall be from 1 January until 31 December each year; the date and place of ordinary meetings of Conference subject to the time Limits set out above and in clause 7(c) shall be decided by the Executive Committee.
- Submission of motions and procedure at Conference: Conference may make rules governing the right to submit Motions and the procedure of debate at Conference. In the absence of any rules, or on any point not covered by the rules made by Conference, the Executive Committee may make such rules. Any rules made by the Executive Committee shall lapse automatically in the event of conflict with rules subsequently made by Conference.
- Decisions at Conference: Upon any Motion relating to the policies of the CHE or any motion to amend the Constitution of the CHE being declared carried by the votes cast of those members present at Conference, any member present may demand that the Conference vote on whether to adopt the Motion immediately or to refer it to a Postal Ballot of all members of the CHE provided that the right to make such a demand shall lapse five minutes after the Motion has been declared carried. The Motion in question shall only be considered adopted immediately if four-fifths of members present and voting vote for immediate adoption by Conference and against reference to a Postal Ballot.
- Postal Ballot: If a Postal Ballot is successfully demanded in accordance with sub-clause (g) above it shall be conducted by the Returning Officer appointed under Clause 10 of this Constitution, within six weeks of the end of Conference. Any Motion relating to the policies of the CHE shall be considered carried upon receiving a simple majority of those members returning their voting papers by the date fixed by the Returning Officer, providing that this date may not be less than three weeks after the date upon which voting papers were sent to all CHE members. Any Motion amending the Constitution of the CHE shall be considered carried providing that it has received a two-thirds majority returning their voting papers by the aforesaid date. Any Motion so carried by postal ballot shall be deemed to be the resolution of the meeting of Conference at which the Ballot was demanded.
8. The Officers
The Executive Committee shall appoint annually from among its own members (including, if necessary, co-optees) a Secretary, a Treasurer and such other officers as it may from time to time decide. The Executive Committee has the right to appoint such paid servants of the CHE as it may deem necessary or useful for its purposes. The Executive Committee shall have the exclusive right to prescribe the duties, salaries and remuneration of such paid servants and their removal from office. The Executive Committee shall also have the power to enter into arrangements for insurance and the provision of pensions or annuities for such servants of the CHE as the Executive Committee shall deem fit.
9. The Honorary Officers
The Executive Committee shall appoint an Honorary President and a number of Honorary Vice-Presidents. The Honorary Officers shall be entitled to receive notice of, to attend and speak at all meetings of Conference but not, except in any other capacity, to exercise a vote at such meetings.
The Executive Committee shall appoint a Returning Officer to conduct an Annual Election of its membership, who may not him/herself be a candidate at that election. The Returning Officer shall arrange the election to take place within six weeks following each ordinary meeting of Conference. The election shall be by secret postal ballot and shall be by Single Transferable Vote.
11. Appointment and Duties of Trustees
- There shall be not less than two nor more than four Trustees, who must also be members of CHE. They shall be appointed by the Executive Committee by resolution. The property of the CHE which is not vested in any limited company set up in accordance with other provisions of this Constitution shall be vested in the Trustees to be dealt with by them as the Executive Committee may from time to time direct by resolution of which an entry in the minutes of the Executive Committee signed by the Treasurer and Secretary shall be conclusive evidence.
- The Trustees shall hold office until death, resignation, non-renewal of membership or until removed from office by resolution of the Executive Committee, which may for any reason which may seem sufficient to a majority of members of the Executive Committee present and voting at any meeting remove any Trustee or Trustees, from the office of Trustee. Where by reason of any such death, resignation or removal it shall appear necessary to the Executive Committee that a new Trustee or Trustees shall be appointed the Executive Committee shall by resolution nominate a person or persons to be so appointed. For the purpose of section 36 of the Trustees Act 1925 the Secretary of the CHE for the time being is hereby nominated as the person to appoint the person or person nominated by the resolution of the Executive Committee.
- The Trustees shall on the instruction of the Executive Committee and not otherwise take part in any legal proceedings either in the name of the CHE or in their own names or otherwise on behalf of the CHE as may be deemed necessary.
- The Trustees shall in all respects act as required by the Executive Committee in a minute signed by the Treasurer and Secretary and such minutes shall be conclusive evidence of the Committee's decision.
- The Trustees shall be indemnified out of the funds of the CHE for and against any liability, costs, expenses and payments whatsoever they have incurred or which have been made by them in relation to the trusts of property and investments of which the CHE or in relation to any legal proceedings or which otherwise relate directly or indirectly to the performance of the functions of the Trustees.
12. Power to own and dispose of Property
- The CHE may receive or disclaim property of any nature whether it is subject to any express conditions or trusts or not. The CHE may purchase or otherwise acquire and hold property of any nature and may sell, lease, mortgage or otherwise deal with the same.
- The property of the CHE may be in the form of stocks, shares, funds, securities, investments or any other property real or personal, freehold or leasehold in any part of the world and may be held upon such terms and conditions as the Executive Committee shall in its absolute discretion think fit and in all respects as if the Executive Committee were the sole beneficial owner thereof.
- The property of the CHE may be vested wholly or in part in Trustees appointed under the provisions of this Constitution or it may be vested wholly or in part in any company registered under the Companies Act for the time being in force and set up by the Executive Committee for the purposes of the CHE.
- In any company set up by the Executive Committee for the carrying out of any of the purposes of the CHE the majority of the directors shall be nominees of the Executive Committee. Such directors shall act in accordance with the instructions of the Executive Committee communicated to them in the form of resolutions of the Committee.
13. Borrowing Powers
The Executive Committee shall have the power to borrow money and to mortgage or charge the property of the CHE or any part thereof and to issue securities for any debt, liability or obligation of the CHE.
14. Disposition of Property upon Dissolution
Upon dissolution of the CHE the property held by the CHE shall be disposed of for such purposes of general benefit to homosexual women and men as may be decided by the Executive Committee. In the event of a failure of the Executive Committee to decide upon such disposition the property and assets shall be disposed of in accordance with the directions of the Trustees of the CHE. In either event the disposition of property and assets shall be such that no members of the CHE shall, by virtue of their membership, receive any funds, property or assets of the CHE.
15. Amendment of the Constitution
This Constitution may only be amended on a proposition submitted to the Conference by the Executive Committee or by any six members, providing that notice of such propositions be in the hands of the Secretary at least two months before the date of an ordinary meeting of Conference or such earlier date as the rules made under Clause 7(f) may specify. The Secretary shall cause to be sent to all members of the CHE the full text of the proposition not less than three weeks before the Conference. The proposition shall only be carried if it is supported by two-thirds of members present and voting at Conference or, in the case where following such a vote it is referred to a Postal Ballot, it is supported by two-thirds of the members returning their voting papers.
16. Legal Resolution of Disputes
Any dispute arising from the implementation of this Constitution shall be subject to the laws of England and Wales.
Adopted by the 1985 Annual Conference;
amended 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1999 and 2002