You are who you are. lesbian or gay. and equal. and proud.
Pride 2000
The organisation

Pride constitution
1. Preamble

1.1 Introduction

In 1998 the Pride Committee began a process of transformation to ensure that the Committee is representative of the LGBT community. This was the first year of a five-year plan to ensure that the Pride Committee represents the community and provides access to those members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community who have not been previously represented on the Committee.

The 1998 Committee elected a task team from the Committee and Consultants to draft the constitution as laid down in this document. The final revisions were made with the assistance of the Gay and Lesbian Legal Advice Centre. The 1999 Committee ratified this constitution and the Pride Trust, with its Board of trustees was established to work towards ensuring that the Annual Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade becomes lawful and non-profit and remains a community based organisation serving the LGBT community.

1.2 His/her story of the Organisation

This document serves the organisation which started with the first Gay and Lesbian PRIDE march, which took place on the 19th October 1990 under the banner of "Unity in the Community". The march was initiated by Simon Tseko Nkoli, founding member of GLOW, during his parole at the time of the Delmas treason trials. The march was a demonstration and a public call to end discrimination against Homosexual people living in South Africa. The march quickly established itself as an annual protest event for the South African Lesbian and Gay community.

The march in October 1992 came closest to drawing the traditions of pride and protest together. More explicitly political than in previous years, the theme - "Marching For Our Rights" - is linked directly to the inclusion of a specific clause within the African National Congress’s Bill of Rights to protect the rights of Lesbians and Gay men. But it also attracted a wider range of Lesbians and Gay men than ever before. People whom, regardless of their political views, joined up for the fun of it, for the colourful procession through the streets.

Since 1994 when the march was officially renamed a Parade, the growth in attendance has been exponential. In 1990, over 800 people and two floats made up the first march. In 1996, more than 10 000 people attended with 31 decorated floats vying for media attention.

Recent Pride Parades have been rallying points around which the South African Lesbian and Gay community have expressed their outrage at Robert Mugabe’s oppression of the Gay and Lesbian community, and have demonstrated their visible support for South Africa’s groundbreaking Constitution. In addition, one of the main factors in the success of the parade has been its inclusiveness. Consequently it has enjoyed support from a wide range of cultural, political and recreational organisations.

Although the Parade may have been inclusive the organising committee was not representative of the GLBT community. In 1998 the committee embarked on a transformation process. For the first time the committee was comprised of over thirty members from all sectors of the community. The committee then voted and officially changed the name of the parade to the Annual Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade.

Also as part of the transformation process was the Community Outreach Project (COP). The COP was initiated to educate Lesbian and Gay members from previously disadvantaged communities about basic human rights, gender awareness and safer sexual practices. The COP was also a means of making the GLTB members of previously disadvantaged communities aware of the Pride Parade, so that they too could celebrate their sexual orientation with pride by attending the event.

1.3 Need for a constitution

The constitution was drafted in order to ensure the following:

  • The Pride Committee must be lawful and non-profit (save as to pass on resources for the following year).

  • The Pride Committee’s constitution and bylaws must set forth the minimum standards for fiscal responsibility and democratic principles for nomination and election of Pride Committee members.
Neither of these requirements have been previously defined. In the past there has been no trouble in applying these "common sense notions". This constitution strives to define these and begin to layout the infrastructure for the Pride Committee in the future.

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