As the long form of Tradition Three clearly states, "Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."
Further clarification of an A.A. group may be found in the Twelve Concepts for World Service, Concept Twelve, Warranty Six: • no penalties to be inflicted for nonconformity to A.A. principles; • no fees or dues to be levied—voluntary contributions only; • no member to be expelled from A.A.—membership always to be the choice of the individual; • each A.A. group to conduct its internal affairs as it wishes—it being merely requested to abstain from acts that might injure A.A. as a whole; and finally • that any group of alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group provided that, as a group, they have no other purpose or affiliation.
Some A.A.s come together as specialized A.A. groups—for men, women, young people, doctors, gays and others. If the members are all alcoholics, and if they open the door to all alcoholics who seek help, regardless of profession, gender or other distinction, and meet all the other aspects defining an A.A. group, they may call themselves an A.A. group.
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