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Monday, December 06, 2010

Transexual Divides Portuguese Freemasonry

The Grand Orient of France voted in September to allow women to join its lodges, because of a man headed for his lodge's Master's chair who underwent a sex change operation. Now, Portugal's Grande Oriente Lusitano (Grand Orient of Lusitania) is facing the same circumstance.

From Diario Beiras (errors in translation are mine and Google's):

Figueira [Portugal] Resident Who Had Sex Change Divides Portuguese Freemasonry

December 6, 2010

A legal or an ontological question? Emanuel Alves, 37, [became] Emma Sofia Alves, 37 years old. The ongoing sex change process of this Figueiran citizen did not "only" mean to change the gender: there are prejudices and practical issues to overcome. Some of these obstacles have been overcome. Others, however, show a high degree of difficulty.

Emanuel Alves was a masseuse for [the Navy's soccer team], but [quit] when he decided on a sex change. However, Ema Sofia continues to pursue his profession, passing from [being a male] nurse to [a female] nurse in the District Hospital of Figueira da Foz. As a man, he still belonged to the Consistency Masonic Lodge, but left it about a year ago, just when he started the process of gender reassignment.

The transformation has agitated the Masons, according to "Saturday" [magazine]. However, the "Daily As Borders" found that Emma would like to return to the fraternity, but the statutes do not allow it. "I do not understand how a progressive organization like the Grand Orient of Lusitania is so conservative," says one of its members, who requested anonymity. "Gradual, not progressive," correct the historians Pedro Brandao and Antonio Fidalgo.

The Grand Orient of Lusitania was founded in 1802, and is the oldest Masonic Obedience in Portugal. It is recognized by the Grand Orient de France, and regarded as irregular by North American and Anglo-Saxon derived mainstream GLs.

The "Regular Grand Lodge of Portugal" (GLRP) was created under a warrant from the Grande Loge Nationale Française in 1991, but recognition by the GLNF has since been withdrawn. Most regular GLs in the world now recognize the Grande Loja Legal de Portugal (GLLP, the Legal Grand Lodge of Portugal), which was created in 1996 after a dispute within the GLRP.

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