The current policy retains the core precept that the AOM does not take political stands. In this regard, we are different from some other Associations that do take stands as a regular facet of their activities. However, the current policy also incorporates an exception around a change in public policy that threatens the AOM as a whole organization. Such an exception must be approved by the Board of Governors and expressed by the President with the consensual support of the Executive Committee. As a result, a process of vetting and approval is required before a stand can be taken under exceptional circumstances.
The current policy seeks to preserve our identity as a member-driven, decentralized organization while, at the same time, allowing a statement in an exceptional situation. Several ideas that reflect our history guided the Executive Committee and the Board in amending the former policy. First, we must retain the character of our organization as a scholarly body. Second, in a broad sense, all important political actions engage morality and ethics. Our Ethics Statements -- as well as our statements of values, objectives and goals -- contain and reflect principles that we must adhere to in our policies. The AOM must be able to respond in terms that reflect our principles. Third, the amendment to the former policy must provide direction on what stand we would take if exceptional circumstances arise. We can take guidance from the fact that, while the AOM's members have differing views on many matters, they collectively endorse the purpose and existence of the AOM as an organization by virtue of their very membership. Fourth, no one, including the AOM President, should unilaterally represent his or her view as the organizational view. The AOM needs a process for developing an organizational stand if exceptional circumstances warrant one. Fifth, the AOM must adhere to legal requirements arising from our §501(c)3 status. Our general counsel has provided us with guidelines that emphasize that any stand taken must be issue-based. Finally, the exception allowed under the amended policy must focus on changes in public policy that threaten the AOM as a whole organization.