STONEWALL JAPAN CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS 2016
Article I. Constitution
This document is the Constitution of Stonewall Japan, the provision for which is stipulated under Statute VII of the Association for Japan Exchange and Teaching (AJET) Constitution. This document includes regulations for the internal management and administration of the Special Interest Group (SIG).
Article II. Name
The name of the Special Interest Group shall be ‘Stonewall Japan’, formally referred to as ‘Stonewall AJET’. This organization began as Stonewall AJET and while it maintains ties to AJET, we have opened our membership to those who live in Japan outside of the JET Programme as well.
Section 2.02 Name Origin
(a) The Stonewall Riots of 1969 took place in New York City of the United States of America. The riots are so named because they centered on a tiny bar in Manhattan. The queer community in that corner of the city rose up against a raid by police forces. The demonstrators, a group that spontaneously banded together in solidarity and strength, stood up to the stifling sociopolitical climate of the day. Their collective decision sparked what would become the modern LGBT rights movement in the United States, a movement whose impact has extended far beyond the borders of that country. It is in this spirit of solidarity and strength that we, the members of Stonewall Japan, stand together as a group committed to the rights and quality of life of individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+.
Article III. Mission
Section 3.01 Vision
(a) Stonewall Japan envisions an international community wherein mutual compassion and respect, social justice, and equality are extended to all individuals.
Section 3.02 Mission Statement
(a) Stonewall Japan provides an affirming, open, safe zone for LGBTQIA individuals and allies in Japan, while enhancing lives through the collection and dissemination of information, maintenance of an online platform for synchronous and asynchronous communications, and provision of opportunities for fellowship, mutual learning, and peer support. We recognize the need to maintain and nurture a sense of community within our members throughout Japan. We encourage solidarity, insight, mutual pride and respect, and self-discovery through the development of an international community at both the regional and national levels.
Section 3.03 Goals
(a) To provide a safe zone for LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies in Japan for fellowship, mutual learning and peer support by maintaining multiple web and social media platforms and facilitating events.
(b) To provide, collect and disseminate information of interest by maintaining a resources repository and distributing information online and/or at LGBTQIA+ events.
Article IV. Organization Positions
Section 4.01 National Leadership Council
(a) The officers of the National Leadership Council and their respective courses of ascendance, are as follows:
(i) President – Elected position
(ii) Vice President – Elected Position
(iii) Web Coordinator(s) – Elected Position
(iv) Treasurer – Elected Position
(b) Upon accepting a position on the National Leadership Council for Stonewall Japan, all members have a responsibility and obligation to the continuation of Stonewall Japan).
(c) National Leadership Council members shall also take the role of Block Leader if no other individual has filled the position in the regional areas in which they reside or live nearest to (e.g. a Block Leader residing in Tokyo would take the position of Block 1 Leader in the event that no separate individual has accepted that position).
(d) Individual responsibilities for the National Leadership Council are outlined via the means of By-Law as to accommodate flexibility with an ever-changing environment and challenges that arise within the LGBTQIA+ community in Japan.
(e) Rank and Order is as follows: President, Vice-President, Web Coordinator(s) and Treasurer.
Should a member of the National Leadership Council resign their position on the council, responsibility falls to the President to assume responsibility until a new interim Council Member is appointed by the President for the remainder of the term.
Should the President resign, responsibility falls to the Vice-President, Web Coordinator(s), or Treasurer in that respective order, to assign and appoint new council members for the remainder of the term.
When a person in a leadership position resigns, if no replacement can be found within one month, leadership passes in the following manner: Vice-president becomes President, a Block Leader becomes Vice-President, a new Web Coordinator(s) or Treasurer can come from any of the Block Leaders or any member that wants to do it, new Block Leaders come from any members within their prefecture.
(f) Position Terms for each National Leadership Council member shall be from the First of April to the Thirty First of March each year.
(g) General Members have the right to call for the resignation of a member of the National Leadership Council. The National Council Members not in question must have a unanimous vote of approval to remove a fellow member from the council before allowing the general member vote. In the event of a call for resignation, the highest-ranking National Leadership Council member whose position is not currently in question should orchestrate the vote.
(h) The National Leadership Council shall make all decisions relating to Stonewall Japan by means of majority vote. Additional positions created under By-Laws that are specifically marked as National Leadership Council positions shall have an equal vote in said decisions.
(i) Any member may run for office for any of the National Leadership Council positions. Although a SIG related to AJET, Stonewall Japan is not limited to people who are currently participating in the Japan Exchange Teaching Programme.
Section 4.02 Block Leaders
(a) Block Leaders shall carry the responsibility and obligation to continuing the growth and continuation of the organization within their designated local. All further responsibilities shall be written in the ByLaws.
(b) Requirements and restrictions to be a Block Leaders are as follows:
(i) Reside in the regional block for which they wish to act as representative and;
(ii) Fully intend to remain in Japan for the entire April-March term while holding the Block Leader title.
(c) Position Term for Block Leader shall mirror the National Leadership Council with the term of the Thirty First of March to the First of April every year.
Section 4.03 Nomination and Elections
(a) Nominations for all positions, including all National Leadership Council, Block Leaders and any additional positions created via ByLaw shall be done so by self-nomination of a candidate.
(b) All positions, National Leadership Council, Block Leaders and other positions created via ByLaw shall be filled by election of popular vote, unless otherwise stated, as an appointed position by the National Leadership Council.
Section 4.04 Internal Meetings
(a) Meetings between President, Vice-President, Block Leaders, Web Coordinator(s) and Treasurer should aim to occur at least once every two months. The National Leadership Council should meet at least once a month.
Article V. Membership
Section 5.01 Members are expected to respect the privacy and rights of fellow members, especially in regard to the specific issue of the ‘outing’ of individuals. All other forms of harassment and discrimination and subsequent consequences shall be outlined under ByLaws.
Section 5.02 Stonewall Japan membership shall be open to all persons in agreement with the goals, vision and mission statement of Stonewall Japan that are soon to be living, currently living or has lived in Japan for a considerable amount of time. There exists no arbitrary criterion for exclusion from membership on grounds of race or ethnicity, nation of origin, ancestry, age, ability or disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression thereof, religion or spirituality, creed or ideology, or marital status. Membership is not limited to participants of the JET Programme or individuals of an English-speaking community.
Article VI. Ratification
Section 6.01 In order to ratify any section, including but not limited to, the creation or dissolution of a National Leadership Council position, must be done so by unanimous vote of the National Leadership Council, followed by an approval majority vote of Block Leaders.
Section 6.02 Creation or dissemination of ByLaws shall be done so by a simple majority vote of the National Leadership Council.
Section 6.03 All changes to both the Stonewall Japan Constitution and Bylaws shall be readily available for its members viewing via the Internet.
Article VII. Parliamentary Procedure
Section 7.01 In the event that a situation arises not outlined by either the Constitution or any current ByLaw, the National Leadership Council shall follow a simple, majority vote to handle said situation. Should there be a stalemate vote (50/50) more than three consecutive times, final authority falls to the organization President, or acting president.
Article VIII. Bylaws
Section 8.01 Bylaws are to be a list of of additional statutes that help govern the organization. The National Leadership Council should strive to contribute and disseminate bylaws as the needs of the organization change and grow over time. The bylaws will be reviewed annually, available for viewing to all members and placed on the website.
Article IX. Affiliations
Section 9.01 Although Stonewall Japan carries the title “Stonewall,” it does not carry any affiliation to other “Stonewall” titled organizations. However, the organization’s council members shall strive to represent the historic meaning of the name “Stonewall” with regard to the aforementioned movement of the same name.
THE BYLAWS OF STONEWALL JAPAN
Article 1. National Leadership Council Responsibilities
1.1. The President shall act as lead executive toward both efficacy and efficiency of administration for the good of the membership of Stonewall Japan.
1.2 The President is:
1.2.1 An elected position.
1.2.2 Responsible for acting as lead executive toward both the efficacy and efficiency of administration for the good of the membership of Stonewall Japan.
1.2.3 Responsible for acting as the external liaison and representative of Stonewall Japan to other organizations including but not limited to non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations, and public and private service providers.
1.2.4 Responsible for Facilitating all internal meetings.
1.2.5 Responsible for coordinating communications.
1.2.6 Responsible for executive decisions and settling disputes.
1.2.7 Responsible for communications to appropriate consulates.
1.2.8 Responsible for keeping contact with National AJET and other SIGs/Chapters of AJET
1.2.9 Responsible for the treasury.
1.2.10 Responsible for creating agendas for the meetings.
1.2.11 Responsible for the moderating the Stonewall Japan Facebook group.
1.2.12 Responsible for succession planning of leadership roles.
1.3 The Vice President shall work with the President toward both efficacy and efficiency of administration for the good of the membership of Stonewall Japan.
1.4 The Vice President is:
1.4.1 An elected position.
1.4.2 Responsible for ensuring communication within the council.
1.4.3 Responsible for writing all public press releases.
1.4.4 Responsible for assisting the president in various duties.
1.4.5 Responsible for keeping current clerical records (mailing list, contacts, etc).
1.4.6 Responsible for the assisting the President with treasury issues.
1.4.7 Responsible for adding people to the Facebook group, welcoming them, sending them the link to the mailing list and letting the appropriate block leader know that they have a new member.
1.4.8 Responsible for the moderating the Stonewall Japan Facebook group.
1.4.9 Responsible for assisting in succession planning of leadership roles as the position tenure nears its end.
1.5 The Web Coordinator shall work with the National Leadership Council and Block Leaders in order to develop the web community and maintain timely updates to all web content.
1.6 The Web Coordinator is:
1.6.1 An elected position.
1.6.2 Responsible for updating, editing and maintaining Stonewall Japan’s official website and other social media platforms (eg. Twitter). This includes writing, accepting and editing contributions for the website.
1.6.3 Responsible for developing and moderating Stonewall’s online resources .
1.6.4 Responsible for developing and enhancing the organization’s web-based community to encourage participation and interaction.
1.6.5 Responsible for the start-up and development of any other web-related projects that would enhance Stonewall Japan’s web presence.
1.6.6 Responsible for the moderating the Stonewall Japan Facebook group.
1.6.7 Responsible for assisting in succession planning of leadership roles as the position tenure nears its end.
1.7 The Treasurer shall work with the National Leadership Council and Block Leaders to develop and facilitate monetary transactions and developments.
1.8 The Treasurer is:
1.8.1 An elected position.
1.8.2 Responsible for maintaining the group’s finances and handling monetary transactions.
1.8.3 Responsible for creating an Annual Budget with guidance from the President.
1.8.4 The Treasurer will not withdraw money without permission from either the President or Vice-President.
1.8.5 Responsible for accessing the ‘Stonewall Japan’ bank account.
1.8.6 Responsible for maintaining records of all revenue and expenditures and ensuring that Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and controls are in place.
1.8.7 Responsible for providing the Stonewall Japan Leadership with a monthly financial report.
1.8.8 Responsible for transferring access of the aforementioned bank account to the succeeding Treasurer as a final duty.
1.8.9 Responsible for the moderating the Stonewall Japan Facebook group.
1.8.10 Responsible for assisting in succession planning of leadership roles as the position tenure nears its end.
Article 2. Block Leaders responsibilities
2.1 Block Leaders
2.2 Block Leaders are:
2.2.1 An elected position.
2.2.2 Block Leaders are allowed to modify and edit their own Block on the membership.
2.2.3 Responsible for managing the block e-mail account.
2.2.4 Responsible for sending out a monthly ‘Block Email’ detailing upcoming events/information.
2.2.5 Responsible for looking out for queer-friendly places and assisting in updating online resources.
2.2.6 Responsible for helping promote and assist in Stonewall member’s events.
2.2.7 Responsible for acting as a point of contact with Block and Prefectural AJET organizations.
2.2.8 Responsible for attending Google Hangouts leadership meetings and interacting in online discussions outside of meetings.
2.2.9 Responsible for representing concerns of regional members to national organization.
2.2.10 Responsible for the moderating the Stonewall Japan Facebook group.
2.2.11 Responsible for assisting in succession planning of leadership roles as the position tenure nears its end.
2.3 Leadership members (National Leadership Council and Block Leaders) who miss three or more meetings in a row will be asked to step down from their position.
2.4 Leadership meeting minutes will be modified to protect privacy and stored for minimum of three years. They are available for viewing to members.
Article 3. Establishment of Membership & Rules of Conduct
3.1 Membership in Stonewall Japan is free. In order to be a member, a person has to either be part of the Facebook group or sign-up to receive a Block Email.
3.1.1 It shall be the sole responsibility of the prospective member to submit name, current email address, and current location to the leadership for addition to the membership records. Furthermore, changes in contact information shall be the sole responsibility of the member.
3.3 Members are expected to observe the following guidelines when interacting with other members through the organization. In addition, breach of the following Rules of Conduct may lead to removal from the organization.
3.4 Stonewall Japan online media for public communication including but not limited to the the Facebook Group are governed by rules of conduct. The appearance and atmosphere of said online media take on the character and tone of the membership. In order to maintain a free and open yet mutually respectful public forum, Stonewall Japan enacts the following rules of conduct:
1. Code of Conduct
Prospective members, upon expressing their intent to join Stonewall Japan, effectively agree to follow the organizational Code of Conduct and further agree that violations of said Code may result in disciplinary action including but not limited to expulsion from the organization and exclusion from any and all organizational activities and endeavors thereafter.
2. A Safe Environment
In maintaining its mission statement, Stonewall Japan is committed to establishment and maintenance of a safe environment both at offline social events and in communications via the online arena. As such, Stonewall Japan does not tolerate any level of harassment, violence, disparagement or threat of violence in any form. Should a member fall victim to any of these violations of the Code of Conduct, it is requested that they inform a member of the Leadership Council or a Block Leader as soon as possible such that appropriate action might be taken. Should a member become aware of a violation with regard to harassment or threats, it is their responsibility as a member to inform the Leadership Council immediately.
3. Outing of Individuals
Outing is a term referring to the disclosure of an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity without said individual’s consent. This is a breach of trust and privacy of utmost gravity and shall not be tolerated under any circumstances. Outing of an individual shall constitute a grave offense and shall be dealt with swiftly and decisively. Individuals considering membership shall be advised that any action or communication that may potentially lead to the “outing” of another member should be avoided at all costs.
4. Respect for Privacy
Stonewall Japan respects its members’ right to privacy. Stonewall Japan is committed to respecting the privacy and personal security of its members.
5. Respectful Postings
Members shall demonstrate respect for others’ opinions and views. Discussion and debate are welcome; however, personal attacks, harassment, insults, and other rudeness shall not be tolerated and will result in moderation of posts and may lead to revoking of privilege to post publicly. Should a member have an issue with another member, they are to contact the moderator.
6. Respect For People
Disrespectful or critical remarks about individuals is unacceptable. Critiques of creative work, public policy, and so on by political entities or persons of public celebrity may be posted so long as these are related to merits/demerits and contains arguments of substance. However, personal attacks constitute a violation of the code of conduct.
7. Respect For Moderators
The Stonewall Japan online media are run by moderators under whose authority and discretion the discussions and conversations held via said media take place. Members are required to respect the instruction of the moderators. Taking exception to or disagreeing with the moderators in a public fashion is inappropriate. Rather, members who have a question or issue with a decision of a moderate are asked to contact the Leadership Council via a private messaging system (e.g. e-mail, Facebook message, etc.) for further consultation.
Disclaimer: While Stonewall Japan strives to provide members utmost freedom in their communications, the organization makes no guarantee with regard to right of free expression. As the online media are established and maintained for recreation and fellowship purposes, their content may be subject to moderation in the best interest of the group at any time for any reason.
3.5 Stonewall Japan Facebook members will also follow these Safe Space Rules and Guidelines found here:
(i) Stonewall Japan defines “safe space” as a place where anyone can be relaxed and fully self-expressed, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, age, physical or mental ability.
To ensure that this group is a safe space, members must abide by the ‘Safe Space Guidelines’ and these basic Rules of Conduct:
You agree to treat others with respect, to refrain from harassment and public disparagement of others, and to respect others’ right to privacy. In addition, you understand that public postings on Stonewall-associated media are subject to moderation at any time for any reason as this is a recreational group whose main aims are fun, fellowship, and mutual support.
Safe Space Guidelines:
1. We can disagree with another person’s point of view without putting that person down, being condescending or disrespecting their wishes.
2. We can be sensitive to the diversity of our group and its varying opinions. We will be careful about making insensitive or careless remarks about controversial topics.
3. We can speak our opinions using the first person instead of using you. e.g. “I think kindness is important” not “You are being mean.”
4. We can try not to make assumptions about other people, their opinions, beliefs or behaviors.
5. We can be aware that some topics may be uncomfortable to talk about, which can often offer a positive learning experience.
3.6 Applicants to the Facebook group will be contacted and verified as living in Japan, having lived in Japan, or plan to soon be living in Japan, before being approved as members.
Article 4. We have no age restriction for Stonewall Japan.
Article 5. Event Protocol and Guidelines for e-mail notifications and publications
5.1 Organizers should maximize participation by using all media outlets including but not limited to Facebook event pages
5.2 The Block Leaders should send local events, and information out in groups rather than several individual E-mails to their block
5.3 Non-Stonewall Event notifications and outreach to individuals wishing to provide information about non-Stonewall Japan events should be advised to post the information on the Facebook page, and contact the local Block Leaders in the region-block that the event is being held.
5.4 Facebook event page creation shall be the responsibility of the leadership and/or other coordinators of the event.
5.5 The National Leadership Council should send no more than one email weekly to the national email list.
5.5.1 Exceptions to email limitations may be made for urgent changes made to upcoming events, or cancellations.
5.6 To utilize the website, future/past event ‘write-ups’ should be put on the website. 200/300 words for an upcoming event and 500/1000 words for past events. They should be sent to the Web Coordinator.
5.7 Official/National Events will follow Event Protocol.
5.7.1 The guidelines for reference are in the APPENDIX.
Article 6. Regional Block Designations
6.1 Stonewall Japan is separated into eleven blocks. Each block has a block leader who is responsible for the general information, events, and point of contact for members. The blocks are as follows:
6.1.3 Kanto East
6.1.4 Kanto West
6.1.9 Kyushu North
6.1.10 Kyushu South
6.2 Block Leaders designations may be split up into multiple co-leader positions if
deemed necessary. Reasons for such splits include but are not limited to geographic
distance, membership density, and event frequency.
Article 7. Election Protocol
7.1 State that all positions are open for candidates.
7.2 Former and new leadership should have transition meetings
7.2.1 The President and Vice President should have their transition meetings
7.2.2 The Webteam and the President should have their transition meetings
7.3 For co-leader blocks, give 2 entry sections on the ballot.
7.3.1 In co-leader positions, if no co-leader can be found then the single person will take over the entire block.
7.3.2 Co-block reps should do these transition meetings together
7.4 Send out basic election results (not details, how many votes, etc) via email to membership