Code of Conduct

The Gay Freedom Band of Los Angeles (GFBLA) code of conduct helps ensure all members are treated with courtesy and respect, and in accordance with the mission, vision, and core values of the organization.  This document provides a framework by which all members can help to contribute to a positive environment for the organization.  It is also used by the board of directors and artistic staff to assess the performance and behavior of GFBLA members.  The GFBLA code of conduct contains guidelines for the disclosure of problematic behavior as well as the review process for and disciplinary actions in response to such behavior.  

As a member of GFBLA, you can expect the following:

  • Considerate and respectful treatment and care;
  • Inclusion in ensembles without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, military discharge status, or source of income;
  • A clean, safe, non-hostile, nurturing, respectful, accepting, and welcoming environment;
  • A fair and efficient process for resolving complaints and grievances;
  • Experienced leaders who are easily identifiable and approachable; and
  • Experienced leaders who will be responsive to your concerns.

Rules and Responsibilities

To ensure a respectful and safe environment for its members, GFBLA has established the following rules and responsibilities for members, patrons, and anyone affiliated with the organization.  Each individual involved with GFBLA has the responsibility to behave in a manner that is respectful and courteous and does not disrupt the operations of GFBLA as determined by the board of directors and artistic staff.

Roles and Responsibilities 

  • Adhere to the Code of Conduct established by GFBLA
  • Promote and embrace GFBLA’s mission, vision, and core values
  • Set a tone of respect
  • Establish a culture of inclusion that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging
  • Build and maintain positive, respectful relationships with fellow members, artistic director, and staff
  • Be responsible and accountable for your actions and behaviors
  • Accept redirection from board of directors and artistic staff

Unacceptable Behaviors

The following activities are unacceptable behaviors for member and supports of GFBLA and will result in punitory actions.  Individuals engaging in these behaviors at any GFBLA activity, rehearsal, or performance in addition to when members represent GFBLA outside of regular function (e.g., attending LGBA Annual Conference) may be assessed through the complaint process detailed below.  Reprehensible behavior that requires immediate remediation will be resolved by a GFBLA board member or artistic director guided by this document and the GFBLA core values.  

Unacceptable behaviors subject to disciplinary action:

  • Rude, discourteous, disrespectful, or disruptive behavior.
  • Use of inappropriate or discriminatory language. Examples of the major forms of discriminatory language include, but are not limited to:
    • Extra-visibility (i.e., mention a person’s sex, sexuality, race, ethnic or national background, accent, or disability, or to draw attention to a person’s physical characteristics or features);
    • Invisibility (e.g., use of the word ‘man’ to refer to all people erases women from the category of ‘people’);
    • Stereotypes (i.e., making the group into an ‘other’ or ‘out-group’ relative to the ‘in-group’ doing the stereotyping);
    • Derogatory labels (i.e., an offensive term used to denote an individual person or group of people);
    • Offensive language (i.e., sometimes discussions and debates over particular topics get heated, and participants may pepper their responses with expletives); and
    • Trivializing language (i.e., language that trivializes or denigrates others and their experiences suggests that the other person is inferior).
  • Photographing or filming for other than personal purposes without permission or for GFBLA publication/publicity/archiving purposes.

Terminable Behaviors

To ensure a safe environment for all members and patrons, GFBLA employs a “zero tolerance” policy for ILLEGAL behaviors or activities. The following illegal activities will lead to cancellation of membership and/or removal from a GFBLA venue for an extended period of time or indefinitely and notification of the local law enforcement agency.

  • Possession, sale, or use of illegal substances.
  • Possession or use of weapons and firearms.
  • Sexual activities (e.g., lewd or obscene conduct, indecent exposure, obscene exhibitions, statutory rape or sex with a minor, etc.).
  • Sexual harassment or inappropriate touching.
  • Sexual or financial solicitation.
  • Theft.
  • Vandalism.
  • Physical violence or threat of physical violence.
  • Any behavior that endangers the safety of any individual or group.

Observance of any activities against GFBLA Code of Conduct should be immediately reported to either GFBLA Artistic Staff (e.g., Artistic Director, Assistant Artistic Director, Drum Major, Color Guard specialist, etc.) or the board of directors. These individuals will make a Member Complaint Form available upon request to file with the Board of Directors by email at

Anyone who feels they have been treated unreasonably may contact GFBLA Board of Directors by email at

Complaint Submission

Any GFBLA member, or member of the public, may submit an anonymous, written complaint to the Gay Freedom Band of Los Angeles Board of Directors.

You may request a Member Complaint Form from or any individual GFBLA Board Member.

The complaint must include the following at a minimum:

  1. A detailed description of the facts known and circumstances relevant to the complaint being considered (“The Complaint”).
  2. The Complainant’s source(s) of information, including the names, addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information of witnesses and other knowledgeable individuals as known.
  3. Any and all supporting information or evidence.

Each complaint will be reviewed for completeness. The board of directors has the option to request for additional information and clarification to complete its investigation and follow-up. 

If enough corroborating evidence is available to support a thorough investigation, the identity of the accuser will not be divulged to the individual being investigated.  If the investigation relies more heavily on testimony from a single source or the evidence presented obviously implicates the identity of the accuser, it may not be possible for the accuser to remain unidentified. 

Complaint Process

After submitting a written complaint to, the complaint process will continue as detailed below: 

  1. A GFBLA Board Member will contact you within two (2) business days confirming that the complaint has been received and is under review or to request further information.
  2. The GFBLA Board Member will notify you by email within fourteen (14) business days of receipt of the complaint with their findings.  If you and the Board Member cannot reach a resolution, you may file an appeal by electronic mail ( within five (5) business days of receiving the findings, requesting that the issue be sent to a secondary reviewer.
  3. A different GFBLA Board Member will initiate a secondary review and you will be notified of the outcome within five (5) business days.  If you do not agree with the outcome of the secondary review, you may request that the appeal be brought before the entire GFBLA Board of Directors.  Your request for the appeal must be made by email within five (5) business days of receiving the findings of the secondary review.  Failure to file an appeal will imply consent to the decision and waiver of all objections to the findings.
  4. Within ten (10) business days of receiving the appeal, the GFBLA Board of Directors will provide you with a date and time to discuss your complaint with the Board during a closed session.  The Board will make their decision within ten (10) business days following this meeting and will provide an email response to you with reasons for their decision. Decision from the board of directors will be considered final.

Suspension and Revocation

GFBLA Board of Directors will initiate membership suspension and revocation steps if any of the following conditions apply:

  1. Non-compliance with the GFBLA Code of Conduct.
  2. Actions in opposition to the purposes and goals of GFBLA.

The member facing suspension or revocation shall be given at least ten (10) days’ notice in advance of the meeting of the board of directors and shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity for rebuttal prior to suspension or revocation of membership.  The member need not be present for the vote to take place.

When a revocation process is begun, the member’s access to GFBLA rights and facilities may be temporarily suspended. 

Official suspension or revocation of any GFBLA member shall require a two-thirds (2/3rd) vote of all members of the board of directors during a closed session.  The board may choose to vote electronically within 48 hours of the hearing if two-thirds (2/3rd) of the Board is not physically present or if a majority of board members present wish not to vote at that time.

Twenty (20) percent of the Board voting members may file a petition within the board of directors to request a special membership meeting to deal with the suspension or revocation of any person’s membership. 

Lifting suspension or restoration of membership shall require a two-thirds (2/3rd) vote of all members of the board of directors.

Members who have their membership revoked or suspended for any reason are not entitled to a refund of their membership dues.


GFBLA Board of Directors shall strictly protect member confidentiality in matters of discipline and take all reasonable measures to keep information dissemination on a need-to-know basis relevant to the complaint and confined to the Board and involved parties.   The member waves their right to confidentiality if the individual shares information about their complaint with the membership for the purpose of holding a special membership meeting.