Most of the problem, as far as I can see, stems from the ambiguity of the language posted at RWA's website, and from the way the policy was voted in. But regardless of the reason behind it, the firestorm exists.
Members of the organization are waiting, some quite impatiently, for clarification of the policy language and how it will affect them. Here's what I've learned from posts on RWA lists: Some of the Board members have been away at a conference, and there is sincere hope the ambiguity will be cleared up when they return. There is also the possibility that it might not be cleared until the next Board meeting. However, the Board has indicated that the individual organization chapters will be receiving an e-mail regarding the new policy.
The President of RWA just posted to one of the RWA lists, and although I can't quote her specifically, I will say she indicated that most of what's been tossed around on blogs and listserves is rumor and pure speculation. RWA is not looking to kick any of their members out of the organization, they are simply trying to move forward as a romance writing organization.
That being said, there's a lesson to be learned here. If you're unhappy with the direction of RWA, get involved. Volunteer. Run for a Board position. Answer the periodic surveys RWA sends out. Read the RWR, and when asked for opinions, make certain to share yours. The Board members endeavor to act in the best interest of the organization as a whole, so let them know how you, as a paid member of RWA, feel.
But, along with most of the other RWA members, I'm anxiously awaiting clarification of the policy. How will it affect me and my future with RWA? Or the futures of my CPs? My other online writing friends? How much of what I've read is truth?
And that's all I'm going to say about that. For now.