Constitution

Initial Version adopted November, 1st 1997 in Vienna, last modification resolved October, 25th 1999 in Stuttgart

§ 1 Name, Seat, Financial Year, Language

  1. The Association shall bear the name LEGATO and shall be entered in the register of associations. The Association shall have its seat in Karlsruhe, Germany.
  2. The financial year of the Association shall be the calendar year.
  3. The business of the Association shall be conducted in English, unless legal requirements stipulate otherwise.

§ 2 Purpose, Charitable Status

  1. The Association shall be the umbrella organisation for lesbian and gay choirs and ensembles in Europe. The purpose of the Association shall be to:
    1. Promote art and culture, particularly to promote choral singing
    2. Promote understanding between nations, particularly by staging events with participants from many European nations
    3. Work for the emancipation of lesbians and gays in Europe and combat discrimination against these groups.
  2. The Association is formed for purposes which are exclusively and directly charitable. It shall not work to further its own selfish interest and shall not pursue commercial goals.
  3. Funds belonging to the Association may be used solely for purposes in keeping with this Constitution. Members shall not be entitled to share in any profits and shall have no other claim on the funds of the Association in their capacity as members.
  4. All offices of the Association shall be honorary.
  5. The Association neither opposes nor endorses any causes of a political or religious nature.

§ 3 Membership

  1. The Association shall comprise regular members and promoting members. Regular membership shall be open to European choirs and ensembles with at least four members. Promoting membership shall be open to all natural and legal persons who agree with the aims of the Association and want to support them.
  2. The board shall decide the outcome of each written application for membership. In the event of the application’s being rejected, the board shall be under no obligation to give reasons for the rejection. Rejected applicants wishing to appeal must do so in writing within one month, appeal being to the General Meeting. The decision of the General Meeting shall be final.
  3. Membership shall be terminated by death, in the case of a natural person, or by the dissolution of the legal person, by resignation, or by expulsion. Notice of resignation must be given in writing to the board one month before the end of a quarter. Expulsion must be for an important reason. Reasons justifying expulsion include:
    • Conduct prejudicial to the Association or its aims.
    • Breach of the duties laid down in this Constitution.
    • Arrears in membership contributions of at least one year.
    The board shall decide on expulsions, which it must communicate in writing, giving reasons for the expulsion. The expelled member may appeal to the General Meeting, and must communicate the wish to do so in writing to the Committee within one month of expulsion. The decision of the General Meeting shall be final. The rights of the member shall be suspended, pending the decision of the General Meeting. Contributions paid covering future periods do not become repayable on conclusion of membership.

§ 4 Rights and Duties of Members

  1. The Association shall levy membership fees, in amounts and at intervals fixed by the General Meeting. The amounts for regular members and promoting members may be different, and may be scaled depending on the number of members a choir/ensemble has and its financial power. Decisions on reduced subscriptions, deferment of payment and exemptions shall rest with the board whose decision shall be final.
  2. Members of the Association are required to communicate changes of name, address or authority to represent to the board immediately. If the member is an association with no legal capacity, the member must appoint a contact person with authority to represent the member.
  3. All members shall have the right to attend, apply to and address the General Meeting. Legal persons and associations with no legal capacity may send one delegate only. No natural person may represent more than two members. Every regular member shall have one vote: promoting members shall not be entitled to vote.
  4. Officers of the Association shall have the same rights and duties as promoting members, but shall not be required to pay subscription fees.
  5. Other rights and duties of members shall be fixed by the General Meeting.

§ 5 Organs of the Association

The organs of the Association shall be the General Meeting and the board.

§ 6 General Meeting

  1. The board shall summon a General Meeting at least once a year. He has to convene immediatley a general meeting if it calls for the interest of the association or if at least one fifth of the members demand one in writing, giving the reasons for and purpose of the Meeting. The board shall issue an invitation to the Meeting at least two months in advance, the invitation to include a provisional agenda, either in the Association newsletter or in some other appropriate written form or via telecommunications. A member shall be deemed to have received the invitation if it is sent to the most recent postal, fax or E-mail address notified to the Association.
  2. If the invitation has been issued in accordance with this Constitution, the General Meeting shall be deemed to constitute a quorum irrespective of the number of members who actually attend. The Meeting shall be chaired by the chairperson of the board or it may elect a chairperson.
  3. The General Meeting shall not be open to the public, but guests may be admitted. Participants of member choruses or ensembles are allowed to take part and to speak, if the General Meeting does not make a different decision.
  4. The General Meeting shall have sole responsibility for:
    • Electing a person to take the minutes and a chairperson, if necessary
    • Admitting guests and approving the agenda
    • Decisions on changes to the Constitution, including the purpose of the Association
    • Dissolution of the Association
    • Electing and dismissing the board
    • Electing the auditor
    • Receiving the financial report from the board and discharging it
    • Receiving the auditor’s report
    • Taking final decisions on appeals against expulsion or rejection of application for membership
    • Fixing the amount and due dates for membership fees
    • Stipulating additional rights and duties not named in the Constitution, in accordance with § 4.
  5. Applications for dismissal of the board, changes to the Constitution or dissolution of the Association not included in the invitation issued to members cannot be dealt with until the next meeting. Applications for changes to the Constitution must made verbatim, with supporting reasons.
  6. Votes shall be by show of hand, unless, in individual cases, a quarter of the regular members present request a secret ballot. Decision shall be by simple majority. A tie shall be deemed to constitute rejection of the question. Dismissal of the board changes to the Constitution, including changes to the purpose of the Association, and dissolution of the Association require a two-thirds majority. Abstentions and invalid votes shall not be included in the calculation.
  7. All natural persons, who are regular participants one of the member choruses or ensembles, shall be eligible for election.
  8. The decisions of the General Meeting shall be recorded in the minutes, which are to be signed by the chairperson and the person who took the minutes. Changes to the Constitution must be recorded verbatim. The minutes must also include the name and seat of the regular members represented at the meeting, along with the names of the persons representing them.

§7 Board

  1. The board shall have three members, to include at least one man and at least one woman.
  2. The board shall be elected by the General Meeting for a term of two years. It shall remain in office until a new board is elected. Individual members of the board may offer themselves for reelection.
  3. If a member of the board steps down before his/her term has expired, the other members shall elect a replacement member to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. If a further member steps down, the board must summon a General Meeting immediately, at which a completely new board shall be elected.
  4. The board can be dismissed by a two-thirds majority of those attending a General Meeting. A new board shall then be elected immediately.
  5. The board shall be responsible above all for the day-to-day business of the Association. It shall represent the Association in and out of court. Each board member has authority to represent the Association.
  6. The board shall take decisions at meetings in person, to which board members must be invited by letter, fax or E-mail at two weeks’ notice; alternatively, decisions may be taken by letter, fax or E-mail. If the board, at one of its meetings, decides the time and place of future meetings or decides to meet regularly at a particular place, the invitation requirement shall lapse. A decision shall require the votes of at least two board members.
  7. The decisions of the board must be recorded in the minutes, which the board must sign. The minutes must be available to regular members for inspection on demand. Any costs arising shall be borne by the member.
  8. If the interests of the Association so require, the board may distribute tasks, meaning that it may create further offices of the Association and appoint persons to carry them out. These shall include in particular the editing of an Association magazine, the management of a music archive, the keeping of address lists and a calendar of events as well as the organisation of choir meetings and events. These offices shall be abolished immediately on completion of the relevant tasks, if these are not recurring, or when it transpires that the tasks cannot be carried out.

§ 8 Dissolution of the Association

  1. In the event of the Association being dissolved or its purpose being abolished, the assets of the Association shall pass to the Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, which shall use them exclusively and directly for charitable purposes.
  2. In the event of dissolution, the General Meeting can stipulate another recipient or recipients by simple majority; such recipients may also use the assets for charitable purposes only. Such a decision shall be void if the German tax authorities withhold their consent to it.

Adopted by the founding members Dominik K. Jakob (Vielhomonie Rhein Ruhr, Duisburg), Richard Mohr (Schola Cantorosa, Hamburg), Peter Kyburz (Schmaz, Zürich), Jürgen Eicher (Rosakehlchen, Heidelberg), Heinz F. Borel (Fliedertafel, Basel), Josef Schinkowitsch (Plüsch, Wien), Markus Werner (Männer-Minne, Berlin), Hans v.d. Veen (Homomannenkoor Zangzaad, Groningen), Annette Kreis (Liederliche Lesben, Frankfurt).