Gender in the Steps

One set of proposals would have changed the Steps(!!) by removing references to “Him.” For example, Step 11 would have changed to read, “…to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God….

I think it is fair to say that many delegates expected these proposals to be among the most controversial this week. (It is also generally accepted here that many 12 Step fellowships, including AA, have similar changes in the works.)

The opening measure in the set was bylaw amendment 3, which sought to remove the requirement that such amendments cannot pass if less than 55 percent of registered groups (meetings) answer a query about ratifying them. Part of the rationale offered was that OA doesn’t really know how many meetings there are, owing to meetings that close without reporting their demise, and other uncertainties. The proponents said that under that circumstance, meetings that don’t even exist would each be voting no, by not responding.

The measure was defeated soundly.

Surprisingly, to me anyway, the proponent then moved to withdraw the remaining proposals. Controversy averted, or at least postponed.

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