Constitution and By-Laws

CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE I: NAME

The name of the Order shall be known as the “Brotherhood of the Phoenix,” henceforth known as the Brotherhood.

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE

The Brotherhood exists for gay, bisexual, and transgender men who love men in order to provide a religious organization that supports their unique experience.

ARTICLE III: MEMBERS

The Brotherhood is committed to creating an experience that aids men who love men to achieve the fullness of their divinity.

Those Corporations, known as Temples, that adopt this Constitution shall become integral to the achievement of the vision of the Brotherhood.

The requirements for application to the Brotherhood as a Temple are:

One man who has undergone the Rite of Passage, in good standing, and has attended the Lay Clergy/Administration intensive seminar.

Six other men who have agreed to move forward in the vision of the Brotherhood.

The acquiring of all seven instruments of the Brotherhood for the new Temple.

The arrangement to allow two clergy to install the new Temple.

Adoption of this Constitution and Bylaws of the Brotherhood.

A majority approval vote from the Council of Elders.

All constituent Temples will be subject to the authorities of the Brotherhood in this Constitution.

The Grand Temple of the Brotherhood shall be present in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS

The Brotherhood shall have a Board of Trustees known as the Council of Elders, henceforth known as the Council.

The Council shall make such rules and regulations, as it deems necessary, to govern its meetings at its discretion.

The Council shall have the authority to approve, revoke or censure any Temple, Director and/or Officer of a Temple with a three-quarters vote of the Council.

The Council shall consist of a minimum of seven members and maximum of eight, known as Trustees with the following powers:

The Ombudsman shall be the intercessory representative between the Council and the various Temples. He shall be a member of the Inner Order, and have a term of ten years, his successor to be appointed by the Inner Order. In addition to his role as Ombudsman, he may also serve in the capacity of one other Trustee, where he would hold all the rights and responsibilities of that office.

The Elder Magister shall be the Chairman of the Council. He shall hold all the powers necessary to direct the Council. He shall have a term of seven years.

The Elder Guardian shall be the vice-chairman of the Council. He shall fulfill the roles of the Elder Magister in his absence or resignation. He shall have a term of seven years.

The Elder Herald shall assure that the education of all Temples is thorough and updated. He shall have a term of seven years.

The Elder Warder shall be a member of the Council that insures that the constituent Temples of the Brotherhood abide to the vision of the Brotherhood. He shall assure that the requirements of a new Temples have been satisfied. He shall have a term of three years.

The Elder Bursar shall audit the reports of all Temples within the Brotherhood. He shall report on the financial status of the Brotherhood at the Annual Congress. He shall have a term of three years.

The Elder Scribe shall keep the minutes of all communication of the Council. He shall have a term of three years.

The Elder Sentinel shall be responsible for the security of the Council and that the constituent Temples are informed of general security issues. He shall have a term of three years.

All members of the Council shall perform any other duties or responsibilities as delegated by the Council. All members of the Council may actively participate in any session of a constituent Temple as an ex-officio non-voting member.

A Trustee may be removed when sufficient cause exists for such removal. The Council may entertain charges against any Trustee. A Trustee may be represented by counsel upon any removal hearing. The Council of Elders shall adopt such rules for this hearing, as it may in its discretion consider necessary for the best interests of the Brotherhood.

New Trustees shall be elected by majority at a Congress when appropriate to the conclusion of their term.

Vacancies in the Council shall be filled by a vote of the majority of the remaining Trustees, and the newly elected Trustee shall serve until the conclusion of the term they have fulfilled.

ARTICLE V: MEETINGS

Congress: The Ombudsman shall call a Congress under the sign of Leo once a year to access the health of the Brotherhood. A Congress shall consist of the Council of Elders and the Magisters of all constituent Temples of the Brotherhood.

Emergency Session: The Elder Magister, as necessary, may call an emergency session of the Council. The session may be conducted by any means required to achieve quorum.

Quorum will consist of six members of the Council.

ARTICLE VI: AMENDING

The Constitution may be amended by a three-quarter vote of a Congress, where the amendments have been proposed four weeks in advance of a Congress.

BYLAWS

ARTICLE I: NAME AND SEAL

The name of the Corporation shall be “Brotherhood of the Phoenix.”

The Corporation shall have a seal that shall be in the following form: A septagram that contains within it the symbols of a labyrinth, fire, and Phoenix.

The registered address of the Corporation shall be:

PO Box 13352
Chicago, IL 60613-0352

ARTICLE II: MISSION STATEMENT

The Brotherhood of the Phoenix exists as a Neopagan religious order for gay, bisexual, and transgender men who love men, in order to provide a religious organization that supports their unique experience.

ARTICLE III: CORPORATE PURPOSES

The following are the purposes for which this Corporation has been organized:

The Corporation is formed exclusively as a religious and/or church corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person or persons.

The Corporation has a specific and primary purpose to foster and practice the spiritual and cultural teachings of a Neopagan tradition. The Corporation will hold public religious rituals in the season of the eight Sabbat days of Neopagan tradition, recognize rites of passage, and honor the Divine in its myriad expressions. The Sabbat rituals shall be intended for all men who love men. Local Temples may open Sabbat rituals to the general public at their discretion, not to exceed two rituals per year.

The Corporation will provide a context for personal growth and healing in a mutually supportive atmosphere.

The Corporation shall have power to authorize, bestow, convey, grant, issue or revoke certificates, charters, degrees, credentials, diplomas, franchises, licenses, memberships, or ordinations through the Corporation, or any subsidiary corporation created by this Corporation, including cemeteries.

The Corporation shall have power to publicize, publish, promote, celebrate, teach, research, and explore any and all material that may bear upon its beliefs, philosophies, theology, and religious history, ancient or modern.

The Corporation shall have the power to apply for and receive grants, accept bequests and to establish and maintain an endowment fund.

The Corporation shall have the power to own property, for the purpose of carrying out the above.

The Corporation shall cause its membership to be taught the beliefs and skills of the Brotherhood of the Phoenix.

The Corporation shall honor the Earth and its creatures as sacred. It shall work to protect and heal the environment, conserve natural resources and influence positive conscious decisions in its members’ everyday lives.

The Corporation shall practice community outreach and, where appropriate, educate the general public about the roles of gay, bisexual and transgender men in Neopagan spirituality.

The Corporation will work to nurture the creation of art, literature, music, and ritual.

The Corporation will work to communicate with brothers and sisters within kindred spiritual paths.

The Corporation will provide training and ordination of those candidates deemed qualified who seek to become clergy through its established seminary.

The Corporation shall conduct its activities in accordance with Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

Not withstanding the above statements of purpose and powers, the Corporation shall not engage in activities that are not in and of themselves a furtherance of the purposes set forth in this Article.

Commitment: All members of the Corporation shall pledge themselves to these purposes in their beliefs, their activities, and their lives.

ARTICLE IV: PECUNIARY GAIN

No part of the net earnings of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its Trustees, Directors, Officers, members, or other private persons, except that the Corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article III hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the Corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in any political campaign (including the publishing or distribution of statements) on behalf of any candidate for public office.

Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the Corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

ARTICLE V: DURATION

The period of duration of this Corporation shall be perpetual.

ARTICLE VI: PERSONAL LIABILITY

Upon the dissolution of the Corporation, the Board of Directors and/or Officers, after paying or making provisions for the payment of all the liabilities of the Corporation, shall liquidate all remaining assets. The remaining Corporation properties and assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. Said distribution shall be in keeping within a basic harmony of the purposes of the Corporation.

Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the Corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are operated exclusively for such purpose.

The Trustees, Directors, Officers, and members of the Corporation shall have no personal liability for the debts of the Corporation.

ARTICLE VII: CAPITAL STOCK

The Corporation shall have no capital stock and shall have no authority to issue shares.

ARTICLE VIII: MEMBERSHIP
Outer Order

Membership in the Outer Order is open to any self-identified male aged 18 years or older. No person shall be denied membership on the basis of race, ethnic background, religion, physical handicap, or age (except as noted above).

Those members who have undergone the Rite of Passage, work to achieve the purposes of the Corporation, and are current in the payment of their pledges shall be considered in good standing unless otherwise denoted, and hereinafter referred to as “member(s).”

Application to membership may be offered to any individual based upon recommendation by any two members. Election to membership shall be carried out at the next monthly meeting where membership shall be confirmed by vote of those members present. The “nay” vote of three or more members shall instill discussion of the candidate. A secondary vote with a remaining three or more “nay” votes shall disallow candidate membership. Those members who voted “nay,” shall inform the candidate of the denial for membership. Membership is conferred by the Rite of Passage and payment of pledges. Members may attend all membership meetings of the Corporation and may participate fully in the decision making process of the Corporation.

Members of the Outer order may have the opportunity to apply twice for candidacy to the Inner Order. Those who have applied and been accepted into the clerical training program, hence forth known as the Mystery School, shall be candidates to the Inner Order.

The Mentors of the Inner Order have the authority to remove any candidate of the Inner Order, as they deem necessary, as specified by the contract of the program.

Inner Order

Members shall be those who have successfully passed through the Mystery School and successfully completed the certifying examination by the mentors and clergy.

Mentors shall be those members of the Inner Order who have chosen to accept the role of mentor within the Mystery School under the guidance of the senior mentors and clergy.

Clergy shall consist of those men who have chosen to pass through the ordination and be conferred with lineage, as well as the rights, responsibilities and powers of the clergy. Clergy shall be responsible for fulfilling the legal obligations of those functions deemed by the laws in their place of residence. They shall be solely responsible for the design and direction of all religious functions. They shall be solely responsible for maintaining the curriculum, training, and examination process of the Mystery School.

Members of the Inner Order shall be the keepers of the modes of recognition of the Board of Directors. In the event that an Inner Order membership has not been established, custody of the modes of recognition is entrusted to the Board of Directors.

Terms of Membership

The passing of more than 90 days from a member fulfilling their pledge shall constitute a discontinuity of membership and cause the loss of all membership privileges, which includes, but is not limited to: the right to stand for election, to hold any office in the Corporation or any of its Committees, the loss of all voting privileges, and access to any documentation reserved solely for the use of members.

Upon the recommendation of the Head of Admission and/or Board of Directors, the members of the Board of Directors may terminate a membership for reasons it deems justified, including but not limited to: failure to meet financial obligations, conduct unbecoming a member while participating in an official event or when acting as an agent of the Corporation, or any conduct that fails to abide by national, state and local law, the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, and Bylaws of the Corporation. The Secretary shall convey notice of proceedings for termination to the member via mail, fax, hand-delivery, or any other certifiable means no less than one week prior to the meeting. Termination of membership must be approved by two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors, or its duly authorized governing body or agent, shall from time to time, designate the terms and procedure(s), if any, by which a member terminated or deemed inactive as specified in Article VIII, section C.1-2 may or may not have their membership reinstated.

No member of the Corporation shall present himself as an official representative of the Corporation to any member or representative of the media, local, state or national authorities unless he is authorized to do so by the President or Board of Directors; nor shall any member of the Corporation use the name or seal of the Corporation for any purpose, business or otherwise, unless specifically authorized to do so by the President or Board of Directors.

ARTICLE IX: MEETINGS

Types of Meetings:

Monthly Business: Open to all members and is held to conduct the regular monthly business of the Corporation. Regular meetings shall be held in a place and time designated by the Board of Directors on a monthly basis.

Special Business: Shall be called as so deemed by the President and/or Board of Directors with at least one week notice prior to said meeting. An agenda will be posted for the meeting accordingly two days prior to the meeting. No other business but that specified in the agenda may be transacted at such special meeting without the unanimous consent of all present at such meeting.

Council Electoral: Shall be held in executive session prior to the Annual Membership meeting to confirm the incoming Board of Directors utilizing the Candidates of the Board of Directors elected by the membership from the February Membership Meeting.

Annual Membership: Shall be held no more than two weeks before the Spring Equinox where the welfare of the Corporation shall be discussed. The Board of Directors shall fix the time and date of this meeting at least one month in advance. The Secretary shall cause every member to be notified at the postal and/or e-mail address of record at the time of notification two weeks prior to the time of such Annual Meeting.

Quorum: The presence of not less than 11 members, four of which must be members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum and shall be necessary to conduct the business of the Corporation; but a lesser percentage may adjourn the meeting for a period of not more than two weeks from the date of the adjourned meeting. The Secretary shall cause a notice of this scheduled meeting to be sent to all those members who were not present at the meeting originally called. A quorum as herein before set forth shall be required at any adjourned meeting. Temples with less than 11 members must have a presence of no less than 6 members, four of which must be members of the Board of Directors, in order to constitute a quorum which shall be necessary to conduct the business of the Corporation.

All Meetings shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order by direction of the President and so enforced by the Vice President.

For fiscal reporting and budgeting purposes, the Corporation’s financial year will begin on the first day of March and end on the last day of February in the next civil year.

Changes to this financial schedule will require the approval of two-thirds of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE X: VOTING

At all meetings, except for the election of Directors and Officers, all votes shall be by voice.

At any meeting, if a majority so requires, any question may be voted upon by the use of ballots.

ARTICLE XI: ELECTORAL VOTING

For election of Directors and Candidates for the Board of Directors, ballots shall be provided and there shall not appear any place on such ballot that might tend to indicate the person who cast such ballot.

Selection of Candidates of the Board of Directors:

Nominations for candidacy to the Board of Directors shall occur at the February Business Meeting. Nominees may consist of any member verbally nominated and second by another member. Nominees must be present at the meeting to accept or decline the nomination.

The membership shall elect a minimum of seven and maximum of ten members for candidacy to the Board of Directors by the conclusion of the February Business Meeting by highest ballots cast. No more than one vote per member per candidate may be cast.

The Board of Directors and Candidates of the Board of Directors shall hold the Council Electoral Meeting. Confirmation shall occur by systematic nomination and voting following the order of Directors as dictated in Article XIV.A. Voting will commence once the candidates have accepted nominations for a position. A two-thirds vote of those present shall confirm the candidate to the position.

If any vacancies should still exist within the incoming Board of Directors after the Council Electoral Meeting, the vacancies shall be appointed by a two-thirds vote of the incumbent Board of Directors.

Elected Directors shall be installed at the Installation Ritual near the time of the Spring Equinox.

ARTICLE XII: ORDER OF BUSINESS

Taking of Roll

Correction and Approval of the Preceding Meeting Minutes

Reading of Communications

Bursar’s Report and Reading of Bills

Reading/Voting of New Membership

Reports of Committees

Old and Unfinished Business

New Business

Lecture or Instructional Program (Preparation and Time Allowing)

Good of the Order

ARTICLE XIII: BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The business of the Corporation shall be managed by a Board of Directors consisting of seven members and shall be known as the Council of Guardians.

All Directors, with the exception of the Head of Security –Sentinel (who shall serve a one-year term) shall be elected to office for a two-year term. All inductions (Installation of Officers) shall take place near the Spring Equinox.

The Board of Directors shall have the control and management of the affairs and business of the Corporation.

Quarterly Council Meeting: Shall be held on or near the day of celebration of the solstices and equinoxes of the civil year to conduct the orderly business of the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall post the agenda one week prior to the meeting.

Emergency Council Meeting: Shall be called by the President when he deems it for the best interest of the Corporation that the Board of Directors has business that must be handled immediately.

Five Directors shall constitute a quorum and all meetings shall be held in executive session.

Each Director shall have one vote and such voting may not be done by proxy.

The Board of Directors may make such rules and regulations to govern its meetings at its discretion.

Vacancies in the Board of Directors shall be filled by a vote of the majority of the remaining Directors. The newly elected Director shall serve until the conclusion of the term to which they have been appointed.

The President of the Corporation shall be, by virtue of his office, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

A Director may be removed when sufficient cause exists for such removal. The Board of Directors may entertain charges against any Director. A Director may be represented by counsel upon any removal hearing. The Board of Directors shall adopt such rules for this hearing, as it may in its discretion, consider necessary for the best interests of the Corporation.

ARTICLE XIV: DIRECTORS

The Directors of the Corporation shall consist of:

President (Magister) Vice President (Guardian) Head of Admission (Warder) Head of Education (Herald) Secretary (Scribe) Treasurer (Bursar) Head of Security (Sentinel)

The President shall preside at all official meetings of the Corporation. If the President is absent at any meeting, the Vice President shall assume his duties. The President must be capable of administering the workings of the entire Corporation, including but not limited to the following:

He shall present at each Annual Membership Meeting of the Corporation an Annual Report of the work of the Corporation.

He shall appoint all committees, temporary or permanent.

He shall see all books, reports, and certificates required by law are properly kept or filed.

He shall be one of the Directors who may sign the checks or drafts of the Corporation.

He shall have such powers as may be reasonably construed as belonging to the chief executive of any corporation and all other powers and duties delegated by the Bylaws.

He shall only vote when necessary to break a deadlocked decision.

He shall perform any other duties or responsibilities as delegated in the Bylaws or by the Board of Directors.

The President, with the aid of the Vice President, shall determine the agenda for all meetings.

He shall be elected for no more than a single consecutive term to the Board of Directors.

The Vice President shall in the event of the absence or inability of the President to exercise his office become acting President of the Corporation with all the rights, privileges and powers as if he had been the duly elected President. He shall perform any other duties or responsibilities as delegated in the Bylaws or by the Board of Directors.

The Head of Admission will confirm all whom are present at the membership meetings and closed events are spoken for and are in good standing. He shall direct candidates for membership in the application process. He shall perform any other duties or responsibilities as delegated in the Bylaws or by the Board of Directors.

The Head of Education shall direct the mentoring of the membership and coordinate events that educate both the membership and the public. He shall perform any other duties or responsibilities as delegated in the Bylaws or by the Board of Directors.

The Secretary shall keep the minutes and records of the Corporation in appropriate books. It shall be his duty to file any certificate required by any statute, federal or state.

He shall give and serve all notices to members of the Corporation.

He shall be the official custodian of the records and seal of the Corporation.

He shall present to the membership at any meetings any communication addressed to him as Secretary of the Corporation.

He shall submit to the Board of Directors any communications that shall be addressed to him as Secretary of the Corporation.

He shall perform any other duties or responsibilities as delegated in the Bylaws or by the Board of Directors.

He shall attend to all correspondence of the Corporation and shall exercise all duties incident to the office of Secretary.

The Treasurer shall have the care and custody of all monies belonging to the Corporation and shall be solely responsible for such monies or securities of the Corporation.

He must be one of the Directors who shall sign checks or drafts of the Corporation. No special fund may be set aside that shall make it unnecessary for the Treasurer or other authorized signatories to sign the checks issued upon it.

He must be capable of handling the financial aspect of the Corporation and provide oversight of any contracted accounting services or corporate employees.

He must keep a clear and accurate record of all corporate finances.

He must provide regular reports and an annual statement on the financial condition of the Corporation for all corporate meetings, and provide a copy of the record to the Secretary for inclusion in the minutes.

He must prepare and complete all required reports to the Internal Revenue Service, as set forth by IRS guidelines and requirements.

He must audit all corporate checking, savings, escrow, trust, or any other accounts on a periodic basis as determined by the Board of Directors.

He must audit all corporate financial records of any coordinators who are in custody of corporate moneys, and compile a quarterly report for the Board of Directors.

He shall recommend, maintain, adhere to and enforce the financial policies as set forth by a majority of the Board of Directors.

He shall insure that the Corporation does not occur a debt to any person or company with out the expressed approval of a majority of the Board of Directors.

He shall insure that the budget is adhered to at all times. If there is a misappropriation of funds, the Board of Directors is to be notified immediately in written form.

He shall prepare an annual budget to be approved for the successive fiscal year by current and newly elected Directors to be presented at the Annual Membership Meeting.

He shall perform any other duties or responsibilities as delegated in the Bylaws or by the Board of Directors.

The Head of Security shall maintain the safety of the membership in all physical respects at meetings and rituals. He shall perform any other duties or responsibilities as delegated in the Bylaws or by the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors will have the right to create and confer appointment of Officers of the Corporation upon any member as deemed necessary for its function.

No Director or Officer shall for reason of his position be entitled to receive any salary or compensation, but nothing herein shall be construed to prevent a Director or Officer for receiving any compensation from the Corporation for duties other than as a Director or Officer.

ARTICLE XV: INDEMNIFICATION OF OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

The Corporation shall indemnify the Trustees, Directors, Officers, members, employees, or volunteers who are sued for actions done in good faith for the benefit of the Corporation and in the performances of their duties. This shall not cover criminal actions that result from unlawful conduct.

Indemnification may be covered through the purchase of insurance or by any means the Corporation chooses.

ARTICLE XVI: SALARIES

The Board of Directors shall hire and fix the compensation of any and all employees that they, at their discretion, determine to be necessary for the conduct of the business of the Corporation.

ARTICLE XVII: COMMITTEES

The President shall appoint or remove, or cause the Board of Directors to appoint or remove, such standing committees as are deemed necessary for the efficient operation of the Corporation. All standing committees, boards, and bureaus shall be appointed to serve until a particular project is completed or until the next Annual Membership Meeting, whichever occurs first. There shall be no limit to the number of annual terms to which a member of a committee, board, or bureau may be re-appointed.

The President, or in his absence the Vice President, shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, boards, and bureaus.

Each standing committee shall have a Chairperson. Committee Chairpersons’ functions include, but are not limited to:

Informing the Board and membership about the ongoing work of the committee, its goals, projects and accomplishments.

Effectively and efficiently using membership material, funds, and human resources in implementing projects authorized by the Board of Directors.

Ensuring that the work of his committee reflects the appropriate image, quality and serves the strategic needs of the membership as directed by the Board of Directors.

The Chairperson of all committees, boards, and bureaus shall represent their respective committees, boards, or bureaus at meetings of the Board of Directors when requested to attend by the Board. The Board of Directors has the power to remove or reappoint any Chairperson as deemed necessary.

The standing committees shall be, but not limited to:

There shall be four primary committees, called Clans. They shall be known as Lover, Warrior, Shaman, and King Clans. These committees shall act as the working structure of the Corporation in the execution of Activism, Outreach and Education. Every active member shall sit on one of these Committees as appointed by the Board of Directors. Each Clan will be chaired by a member elected directly from and by each Clan’s membership.

Activism Committee shall be responsible for researching and communicating with fellow organizations that are aligned with the Corporate Purposes outlined in Article III. They will facilitate in the planning and coordinating of events with these organizations. The Warder shall be a member of this committee.

Education Committee shall be responsible for the instruction of the membership in the mythologies and symbolism of the Brotherhood of the Phoenix and further education of the unfolding spiritual path that lies before the members. The Head of Education shall chair this committee.

Outreach Committee shall be responsible for extending awareness of the Brotherhood of the Phoenix to the broader gay, bisexual, transgender, lesbian, and pagan communities. They shall seek out and develop working relationships with other civic, corporate and philanthropic organizations aligned with the Corporate Purposes in Article III. The Vice-President shall be a member of this committee.

Fundraising Committee shall be accountable for coordinating activities to raise funds for the successful execution of the Corporate Purposes. The Treasurer shall be a member of this committee. So too, it shall communicate with potential benefactors that may aid in the corporate endeavors.

ARTICLE XVIII: ETHICS

Every member shall keep confidential the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and places of employment of other members, except where expressed permission has been given to publicize said information; or in such a case as a person is deemed to be a public threat (in which case confidential information may only be revealed to those authorities under whose jurisdiction the matter of conduct falls.)

We view our ordained and lay clergy as professionals and, as such, demand professional behavior equal to that of secular and other religious professionals.

Our clergy are expected to be honest, to abide by the law (except in cases of certain “victimless crimes” or civil disobedience), to respect the rights and privacy of others, to maintain a professional profile while “on duty,” and to respect certain sexual taboos placed upon virtually all professionals in our society, rules which have been instituted for the protection of the client.

Therefore, clergy will refrain from engaging in sexual activities with their temple “clients” when acting in the following capacities: mentor, healer, therapist, or divinatory counselor. (The above restrictions do not apply to sexual relationships that existed prior to the onset of the professional relationship.)

We accept that we are all adults and capable of making our own choices; however, exercising discernment in any sexual interlude between clergy and other members is advised.

It shall be the custom of this tradition to work robed or clothed at any public ritual. Private rituals may be conducted skyclad at the discretion of the individual persons involved.

Manipulation or coercion of a sexual nature will not be tolerated in Brotherhood of the Phoenix rituals.

At NO TIME shall firearms or explosives be brought to or used during an official ritual.

It is in the tradition of the Brotherhood of the Phoenix to induce altered states of consciousness through meditation, chanting, drumming and other legal means. While psychoactive substances of various sorts have been used by traditional societies for this purpose, only legal psychoactive substances are permitted in rituals.

The Corporation will not tolerate bigotry, slander, perjury, or other forms of harassment leveled against but not limited to our members or against other members of the gay, bisexual, transgender, or pagan communities.

Members shall abide by their initiatory oaths and shall respect the confidentiality of any oath bound material from either this tradition or another.

ARTICLE XIX: PLEDGES

The members of the Corporation shall be obligated to honor their financial commitment to the Corporation in the form of pledges.

ARTICLE XX: AMENDMENTS

These Bylaws may be altered, amended, repealed or added to by an affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of the Council of Elders and Magisters of local temples at any Congress where quorum has been achieved and the amendment is on the agenda and previously posted two weeks in advance for review.Congress: The Ombudsman shall call a Congress under the sign of Leo once a year to access the health of the Brotherhood. A Congress shall consist of the Council of Elders and the Magisters of all constituent Temples of the Brotherhood.

Emergency Session: The Elder Magister, as necessary, may call an emergency session of the Council. The session may be conducted by any means required to achieve quorum.

Quorum will consist of six members of the Council.