Thursday, March 24, 2011

Anti-Gay Issue Returns in Kentucky

Back in October 2010, the assembled members of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky at their annual communication voted against legislation that would have banned openly gay men from joining Kentucky lodges. The controversy centered around WBro. John Wright. When Wright joined his lodge in 2007, he was married. In December 2009, he was elected to serve as the Master of his Winchester lodge. Wright and his wife subsequently filed for divorce in March 2010 because he realized he was gay. In May, when some members of the Masons found out, "news of my sexual orientation spread ... like wildfire," he said.

Anti-gay legislation failed at Grand Lodge, but that hasn't stopped individual Masons from bringing Masonic charges against Brother Wright.

From "Membership of openly gay Mason being challenged" by Valarie Honeycutt Spears in today's Herald Leader:

Last year, after John Wright told members of Right Angle Lodge in Winchester that he was gay, members of a lodge in Frankfort tried to change the Kentucky Masons' constitution so that openly gay men could not be members.

But in October, Masons at a statewide meeting turned down the proposal. At the time, Wright told the Herald-Leader he saw the vote as a sign that Masons in Kentucky would not discriminate against gays.

Now, Wright is facing a Masonic trial set for April 8, according to a letter from an official in the fraternity's administrative body, the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. Within weeks of the statewide vote, five Masons from Central Kentucky filed an internal petition, saying that Wright violated the group's constitution by forsaking his belief in God in declaring his homosexuality and by going public with information about the Masons.

Wright, a student at Eastern Kentucky University who also works for a military defense contractor, was Master of the Right Angle Lodge from December 2009 until December 2010, and he said this week that he remains a member. The Masons are said to be the world's oldest and largest fraternity.

Wright provided letters and other documents involving the complaint to the Herald-Leader.

In a Dec. 6 letter, Kentucky Grand Secretary Joseph R. Conway told Wright that Mason John C. Bourne, a member of a Nicholasville lodge, had filed an internal complaint alleging that Wright had engaged in "unmasonic conduct."

Bourne, a detective with the Jessamine County Sheriff's Department, declined to comment on the petition, which was also brought by four other Masons. Others who backed the complaint include: Dennis R. Gambrell and Doyle G. Rambo, members of two separate lodges in Lexington; Andrew R. Dixon, a member of a Versailles lodge; and Robert D. Roach, a member of a lodge in Lawrenceburg. All four men declined to comment about the petition.

When Wright became a Mason in 2007, he was married. Wright said he and his wife filed for divorce in March 2010 because he realized he was gay.

The complaint said Wright's behavior went against the Masonic constitution because he "violated the sanctity of his marriage" and "deserted her due to his homosexuality."

Another charge alleged that Wright revealed "privileged Masonic Communications ... to the non-Masonic world."
In a Feb. 9 letter to Wright, Conway said an investigative committee found probable cause to believe that Wright may have revealed privileged Masonic information and that he may have violated "his oath and obligation" by engaging in other relationships prior to the finalization of his divorce.

The complaint also alleged that Wright had violated the group's constitution because he had "openly forsaken his belief in God ... by refusing to obey the Moral Laws in declaring his homosexuality which the Moral law declares as an abomination to the law of God."

On that issue, the committee found "no probable cause," Conway's letter said.

Reached at the Grand Lodge of Kentucky headquarters in Jefferson County, Conway declined to comment about the charges.
In a March 15 response letter to Conway, Wright said he did not disavow his belief in God, divulge privileged Masonic communication or violate the sanctity of his marriage by divorcing his wife.

Wright said recently that after the vote in October, many men were upset that he was allowed to continue as a Mason.
"Personally, I feel these charges are retribution for speaking out about the discrimination that I experienced," he said.

"In my heart, I feel that if I had left my ex-wife for another woman, nothing would've been said to me about it, nor would I have been brought up on charges," Wright said. "I know of many Masons in Kentucky who have been divorced and re-married, some several times, and charges were never brought against them for abandoning their spouse by causing a divorce action to be filed," Wright said.

According to the group's constitution, if Wright is found guilty at a Masonic trial he can be admonished, reprimanded, suspended or expelled.




Update 3/25/2011

WBro. Wright has posted his official response to the Masonic charges here.

44 comments:

Wayne said...

Are there rules in the constitution about bringing false charges against a brother?

This is shameful.

Wayne Middleton
Community Lodge 292

terrance said...

WE MAKE GOOD MEN BETTER MEN HE TOOK AN OATH TO MEET UPON THE LEEL AND ACT ON THE PLUMB PART ON THE SQUARE AND HE IS NOT DOING NONE OF THE ABOVE

CapnEddy said...

Homosexual and deviate conduct is not "worthy and well qualified" to be a Master Mason.

Albert H McClelland, PM

Chris Hodapp said...

How is that? How is his sexual orientation affecting his ability to meet upon the level, or part upon the square? And i can almost guarantee that he is not the only gay member of Kentucky Freemasonry, and maybe not even of his lodge. It should no more be a topic of conversation than religion or politics. And while we're discussing making good men better ones, it's long been improper and uncouth for gentlemen of any persuasion to be discussing their sexual exploits. As long as he's not violating the chastity of a Master Mason's wife or daughter, the topic should be moot.

Chris Hodapp said...

And from a purely selfish and practical standpoint, do you really want the fraternity dragged into court on a discrimination charge, when your internal rules are silent on the subject and therefore cannot be used as a legal defense?

Chris Hodapp said...

Sorry, Al, but Indiana's Blue Book is silent on the subject. Please run that one by the Grand Secretary.

leigh said...

Greetings Bro Hodapp, My name is Wbro Leigh Topham from New Zealand. You gave our lodge the interviewjust over a year ago...As a young 32 year old Mason I would be highly disappointed in the craft if it discrimanted against gay men. I have many fantastic gay masonic friends and brothers. Just asking, but is Kentucky on of the sth states that sill do not recognise PH masonry, or admit black men into their Lodges??

Chris Hodapp said...

Brother Leigh,
Kentucky has initiated several black men in the last few years around the state.

In 2009, MWBro. Herman M. Forrester, Grand Master of KY issued an edict declaring:

That no negative reference is to bemade by any officer or member of any lodge chartered under the constitution of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F.&A.M. in reference to a petitioner’s faith, creed or race at any time in the conferral of the Degrees—i.e. lectures, obligation, by proficiency lecturers, etc.—or during any lodge Communication.

The Grand Lodge of Kentucky F&AM does not currently recognize the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge F&AM of Kentucky.

Chris Hodapp said...

Apparently, the official wording of the charges actually state:

1) " violated the group's constitution because he had "openly forsaken his belief in God ... by refusing to obey the Moral Laws in declaring his homosexuality which the Moral law declares as an abomination to the law of God."

2) " .. went against the Masonic constitution because he "violated the sanctity of his marriage" and "deserted her due to his homosexuality." "

3) "... revealed "privileged Masonic Communications ... to the non-Masonic world." "

Tom Accuosti said...

1) " violated the group's constitution because he had "openly forsaken his belief in God ... by refusing to obey the Moral Laws in declaring his homosexuality which the Moral law declares as an abomination to the law of God."

And by extension of this, it would seem that any member who is not Christian would run afoul of the "Moral Law" rule, since it appears that the GL KY is only looking at one particular VSL.

I understand that some people have an objection to people who have a different sexual orientation - an objection that is *usually* founded upon religious grounds. But if we - Masons - love to boast about how we can meet in lodge with men of all different religions, then why can't we put aside those differences when it concerns things of a private nature?

EdMarrow said...

Call me old fashioned but sodomy is depraved, vile, and falls under the category of moral turpitude. Other aspects in the details of the charges against the Brother are false. We Brothers are all sinners and should repent and acknowledge our sins. But I don’t want to go down the road and accept the practice of sodomy as a normal and regular sexual activity. I have homosexual friends and in the eyes of the Lord my sins and their sins are equal. We are all equally sinners in the eyes of the Lord. But would you want an acknowledged and practicing thief a member of your Lodge?

Bro Ed Marrow
Liberty Lodge # 31

Chris Hodapp said...

An acknowledged thief has broken the civil law and is a criminal. Homosexuality is against the moral law of your personal faith. Big difference, my brother.

Our Masonic ceremonies, obligations and laws are silent on the subject of homosexuality, and I suspect there have been men of that persuasion in the fraternity since at least 1717. The Grand Lodge of Kentucky voted down an attempt to include a ban on gays as part of its official constitution last session. I too have personal views on the subject, but such concerns should remain outside of the lodge. It is private between a man and his God. It is not Masonry's business to peer into a brother's bedroom.

Mark said...

@terrance To all my mislead Brethren, if being homosexual was unmasonic then why is that not in our oath next to the part about to not stand by the raising passing or initiating of a woman and a man who is not of age. We are FREE and ACCEPTED Masons. ONe of the many thing s to be proud of being a Mason is that we ACCEPT people for who they are. Muslim and Jew, Iraqi and Iranian. All meaningless when we meet on the level. This man DID meet on the level, it is his Brothers who betrayed him. Those who can not accept others for who they are are willfully ignorant and therefore are UNWORTHY of our protection as Masons let alone actually BEING a Mason. Intolerance as no place in a Masonic Lodge, those who believe otherwise may be a Master Mason through ceremony but they are NOT true Master Mason, for they did not desire the Light, did not ask for the Light, so they did not receive the Light.

Lee Love said...

Whoa! I thought we weren't supposed to drag in the peculiarities of one's religion into the lodge. Next thing we know, somebody in Kentucky will be having a hearing because I ate shrimp today. Thanks Chris. A true conservative, vs. an authoritarian, doesn't stick his nose into another brother's bedroom.

Chris Hodapp said...

Emo Phillips said it best.

Mir said...

This situation in Kentucky is truly a stain on our Masonic Fraternity. It spits in the face of our Masonic Enlightenment ideals. May Freemasonry continue to spread the light of toleration of people of all walks of life, religions, ethnic backgrounds, orientation, political beliefs and socio/economic status and conciliate true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.

paulbroughton said...

Keep in mind that the GL of Kentucky has not ruled against brother Wright and that the statewide concensus was NOT to adopt an anti-gay reform.

However, I'd rather have 1 brother Wright, than 10 "he violated moral law" men. Masonry DOES NOT discriminate based upon religion, creed, faith or race; yet some brothers are wanting to say he violate the moral law, which is to say he violated their particular beliefs of moral law? What about his beliefs? If you don't like, fine, that's your right to do so. I strongly believe bringing up masonic charges on brother Wright was wrong and I hope the new trial also finds "no probable cause" against these charges. But to impose your particular beliefs and values upon somebody else? I thought we (Masons), as a whole, were better than that!

Now, communicating privileged information to the rest of the world? I don't know what it was, but I believe there's a repramand, not an expulsion, in order for that!

Paul Broughton PM

Chris said...

As a Mason of 6 years' standing, civilly-partnered for 5 years and in a partnership for 13, I find that the attitude here in UGLE toward gay members is far different. When I was interviewed the committee made it clear that they were aware of my orientation and that it made no difference to them. After I'd been a member for a few years, one of the Brethren asked me if my partner would be interested in petitioning! "As my partner is an agnostic, I'm afraid that he doesn't qualify." I replied. This last year I have been WM of the Lodge and I have been reelected to serve a second consecutive year. I have initiated two men this year and raised one. Next year I will initiate 3 or 4 men and raise two. This is the best intake we have had in many years.

A few years back a newly-joined Brother was asked to give the toast to the visitors at the Festive Board. He told a joke that was very homophobic. (He did not know me very well and no one bothered to tell him that I am gay as the Brethren don't see it as a problem.) I complained to the Secretary and the then-Master and got a phone call from the Brother about 10 minutes later apologising. He later left the Lodge, saying that we had no sense of humour. He is not missed.

I know many gay Brethren in UGLE lodges and it is not an issue for anyone, as we all meet on the level and work with that love and harmony that should always characterise Freemasons.

My heart goes out to W.Bro. Right. I hope that the GL of Kentucky will vote down the proposals and that he will be acquitted in his Masonic trial.

W.Bro. Chris Hansen

Mark said...

Since when did an individual Mason's religious beliefs become applicable to another Mason? The only requirement is a belief in a Supreme being. I profess my belief in God, but I don't take everything literally in the Christian Bible either. My God and your God do not have to be the same or we would be called "Free and Accepted Christian Mason's for God".

47th Problem of Euclid said...

1) " violated the group's constitution because he had "openly forsaken his belief in God ... by refusing to obey the Moral Laws in declaring his homosexuality which the Moral law declares as an abomination to the law of God."

The following Christian churches unequivocally support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people as Christians:
•Affirming Pentecostal Church Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists•Ecumenical Catholic Church•International Christian Community Churches•Restoration Church of Jesus Christ USA (a Latter Day Saint denomination)
•Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
•Episcopal Church (United States)
•Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
•Metropolitan Community Church
•Old Catholic Church
•Restoration Church of Jesus Christ (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) — a Latter Day Saint denomination
•United Church of Christ
•United Church of Canada
•Presbyterian Church (USA)

Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism and Jewish Renewal recognize gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered parishioners.

Unless the Grand Lodge of Kentucky is willing to claim that the above are not legitimate religions, then offense #1 has no merit.

Luke says Moo! said...

As a quick heads up, on Br John's blog a recent update says that the committee to determine merit in the charges states that charge 1 (disavowing his belief in God) had no merit.
The other charges still stand.
http://jdwright.me/ is his official site.

MP said...

I'm waiting to see the outrage from most of these members if a predominantly Jewish Lodge booted someone out for eating pork, as it's a violation of the moral laws.

Oh, wait, Jews aren't part of THOSE members' Lodges.

Lee Love said...

47th Problem of Euclid,
I'm a practicing Buddhist. The Buddhist precepts simply say "do not misuse sexuality." I have gay and lesbian friends who are ordained Buddhist ministers.

Tom Accuosti said...

It's interesting that this popped up in the news today:

Mr. Bakker [n.b. son of Rev. Jim Bakker - yes, *that* Jim Bakker], who is straight and divorced, says that religious people for far too long have used selective “clobber scriptures” to condemn gays and lesbians. A closer look at the teachings of the full biblical narrative, he says, leads us away from this position. “The simple fact is that Old Testament references in Leviticus do treat homosexuality as a sin ... a capital offense even,” Bakker writes. “But before you say, ‘I told you so,’ consider this: Eating shellfish, cutting your sideburns and getting tattoos were equally prohibited by ancient religious law.”

Source

Lee Coursey said...

This very well could be a rude awakening either for the Brothers of the GLoKY who think of Masonry as an inherently Christian institution (understood because the membership is primarily Christian) or for those Brothers, like myself, who took to heart that this was an institution of God-fearing men, interested in building each other up.

I'm scared to think it's a wake up call to the latter.

Cory said...

Mason's are suppose to be tolerant of all people not only when it supports your own belief system.

I would rather sit in Lodge with an openly gay man who is a decent honest person well before one who is a racist who hates him just because of his sexual orientation.

How the hell does being gay mean he's not meeting on the level, acting on the plumb or part on the square?

How the hell does being gay make him not worthy or well qualified??

Sorry, maybe I'm just more opened minded to what makes a man a good person.

I feel many of these people wouldn't like me for being a Jew also. Hope I'm wrong but if not I have enough friends to keep me busy.

S&F to all

Cory

AC Siciliano said...

It's funny how one's PERSONAL beliefs suddenly turn into 'law'. You see this in the military: some Sergeant Major has a personal opinion about haircuts or uniforms, and suddenly he opinion is the only right way.

GAOTU does not mean ONLY Jesus Christ. Or ONLY Allah, etc. Unfortunately, some brethren don't realize or have forgotten that little point. This is supposed to be the organization that optimizes tolerance and acceptance.

Something to think about - before you pass judgement or act so pious, what would the rest of the world think about you if they found out what you did when no one was looking?

Perhaps if we focused more on 'doing Freemasonry', and less time concerning ourselves with what's going on in other people's bedrooms, we wouldn't be losing members at the cyclic rate.

Tony Siciliano
Jacksonville, NC

Cory said...

"GAOTU does not mean ONLY Jesus Christ. Or ONLY Allah, etc. Unfortunately, some brethren don't realize or have forgotten that little point. This is supposed to be the organization that optimizes tolerance and acceptance."

Bravo Bro. Tony

That point seems to be forgotten by some.

The K.N.O. said...

This is a personal opinion and represents no GL, Lodge, or other person or Freemason.

I know a good, upright, and true Brother Mason who happens to also be homosexual. His personal life and his personal walk with the G.A.O.T.U., or God in my description, are not my concerns.

I believe that God loves all of his creations. Any spiritual judgments to be made I leave in the hands of the Creator, and would not suppose to place my opinion above his.

This Brother I have met at Masonic functions, and he comports himself with dignity as a true Brother should and brings honor to the fraternity.

I am happily married for over two decades, and the constitution guarantees my right to 'pursue happiness'. (Note: this guarantees happiness to none.) As long as the Brother comports himself as a Mason and does not habitually bring dishonor to our august Fraternity, he has my support as any good and true Brother Mason does. This Brother has the right to pursue his own happiness, and I applaud that right.
Sincerely,
Kevin Noel Olson

The K.N.O. said...

It is unfortunate that Christianity is largely represented in these attitudes, where many Christians disagree with these types of attitudes.

Seamus Stimpson said...

I don't post here a lot so if you respond, I'd be happy to get an email (maybe it will email me, who knows) @ seamus stimpson @ gmail.com (the first being one word, no spaces).
anyway, so, the concept of immorality and membership.

I feel, as an episcopal, that my faith has no issue with homosexual members and therefore they shouldn't be kept from membership.
However, to those who argue the claim of Immorality and Deviant behavior, I'd point out practices of other faiths and how, though I may find them to be immoral, I don't consider them something that would be held against and candidate.

The best example I use is the LDS (mormon) faith and their posthumous baptisms.
I truly believe that baptizing a dead person is immoral. No two ways about that.
However immoral this act may be, I do not believe it to be something so immoral that it would make me blackball a mormon candidate.

I would press brethren to consider this concept.

To jewish brethren, I doubt they would blackball their gentile brethren for eating pork.

Furthermore, many mainline Protestant brethren should, I would hope, realize that some major churches, Episcopal and Lutheran, are accepting of the LGBT community (even to the point of LGBTQ priests).

On a final note, I think it's sad that this must arise.
I work as a tour guide at a masonic temple and get faced with the argument that we, Freemasons, are a conservative old boys club.

While I point out that I'm quite liberal (green party all the way), I've enjoyed getting to know my conservative brethren in a non political atmosphere (one of the best features of Freemasonry as a whole).

Still though, when this kind of thing arises, it paints us as a close minded order that may, in fact, be nationalistically conservative and irrelevant.

I hope this gets sorted out as I, and I'm sure many other brethren, gay and straight, find it very sad.

(p.s. my keyboard is acting funky so if there are some major misspellings/grammatical errors, that's why)

ppfuchs- Peter P. Fuchs said...

First of all, thank you Chris for your smart responses in the right direction. Much appreciated.

As to the dust-up here, I won't try to have sage words. All I'll say is : Ugh!

But I would like to use this unfortunate case to make a useful collateral point. All the Anti-Masons in the world who are so convinced that Masonry is intrinsically and necessarily divorced from traditional Christianity, need to take a gander at this case. To wit, the silver lining is that it shows that many Masons are very traditionally Christian. At least that is an interesting contextual point from a really queasy case.


All I can say is that as a gay man, I have felt nothing but accepted by Brother Masons, from newly raised fellows to the most senior people. We have a lot to be proud of in the inclusiveness of Masonry generally. But the law of unintended consequences teaches that there may be something lost if uniformity is utterly mandated, even uniformity which we take to be virtuous. The "Lodge System" of Freemasonry can be read historically to have had strength and weaknesses. I just see this case as one of the weaknesses.

47th Problem of Euclid said...

Has anyone heard a verdict yet?

47th Problem of Euclid said...

This news article states that Wor. Bro. Wright was indefinitely suspended in masonic trial.

Houston said...

Exactly why do homosexuals feel the need to tell the world what their sexual desires are?

Should all candidates be asked what turns them on in the bedroom?

Homosexual or not, it is classless, tasteless, and frankly trashy to openly discuss or declare ones sexual preferences whether heterosexual or homosexual.

There are many homosexual freemasons creating homosexuality as a movement within freemasonry and it is a complete embarassment to the fraternity.

I am not speaking to the specifics of this case in Kentucky, but in general. Leave your sexual lifestyle at the door - we don't want to hear it.

Lastly, I am tired of freemasons being labeled as intolerant against homosexuals and homosexuality.

The only intolerance I see is homosexuality being intolerant of God.

Houston said...

Anderson’s Constitutions of 1723 states:

“A Mason is obliged by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law ; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine."

Irreligious Libertine is the key word.

So, to willfully and purposely ignore the Law of God within the very book you take your masonic oath upon is to become an Irreligious Libertine. Beyond that it makes you a man of dishonor and a liar.

If homosexuality is something God appreciates, then can we throw the ten commandments out the window too?

As an aside, I am curious if anyone can name one recorded religion who's scriptures approved of homosexuality and or considered it morally appropriate. - Academic Question

Lee Love said...

Huston, THEY do not make it an issue. YOU are. Look at your second post. What we are talking about here is an issue of human rights.
Actually, it is the minority of tradtions (some "People of the Book"), who have anti-gay issues.

It was/is not a typical issue in Asia (where most people live),or in Rome or Greece or Samurai Japan nor in what Pike would call "the ancient" traditions. I refer you to the "Two Spirit" traditions of the Ojibwe and Lakota. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-Spirit

Tom Accuosti said...

I'm sure that the last thing that Bro. Chris wants is for his blog to become any more of a lightening rod for this topic, but Houston raised two points that I really think should be addressed again.

One is that any Mason who is wearing clothing of mixed fibers, cutting their hair and beard, eating shrimp or bacon, or who tolerates their wife/daughters living in the same house when they are menstruating is going "against" the Old Testament.

One of the reasons that we elect to ignore these and 600 other taboos is that "New Covenant" thing, which was pretty much the point of the New Testament.

But the other issue, which I think gets overlooked, is the idea of "leaving it at the door." In essence, this is "Don't ask, don't tell," and here's why it's wrong:

You have a brother in your lodge, which means that you voted on him, broke bread with him, and trust him to the limits of your obligations. While his sex life is none of anyone's business, what happens if he brings a male partner to a public lodge function? Now it's in the open. Should he then have to resign because he's "out"? Are you saying that your brother is no longer afforded the same respect and consideration that your straight brothers have?

And Houston, if it seems that a lot of gays are against religion, maybe we should ask if it's not because for the most part, religion has been turned against them for a long time.

Lee Love said...

Travel is a great way to find out that not everybody, everywhere, thinks like I do. I highly recommend folks getting passports and using them. If you visit where I live, you will see many churches flying the rainbow flag, or have messages on their outside signs saying they are welcoming to all kinds of people, reguardless of color or sexual orientation. Because so many churches welcome Gay people, we are safe in categorizing this issue as being both a sectarian issue and a political issue, not a universal moral issue. If you examine this link, you can find "Gay Friendly" churches near you: http://www.gaychurch.org/Find_a_Church/united_states/united_states.htm
Where I live, 235 churches are listed: http://www.gaychurch.org/Find_a_Church/united_states/us_minnesota.htm A place like Mississippi only has 11. http://www.gaychurch.org/Find_a_Church/united_states/us_mississippi.htm Things are different, depending upon where you live.

Houston said...

1. Mandated acceptance is tyranny.

2. Mandated acceptance does not equal tolerance.

3. Tolerance does not equal acceptance. Tolerance is a gesture of kindness, not an obligatory act.

As freemasons were are counseled to excersise tolerance, but that doesn't mean I will tolerate murder, rape, theft, or abuse. I also will not tolerate a member who antagonizes another by forcing his sexual views onto others who may not appreciate his lifestyle.

This thread has proven without a doubt that there are those that seek to push the agenda without regard to the fact that many oppose it.

Personally, I oppose homosexuality but tolerate the freedom for a person to live as they choose. It is sad that homosexuality has forced itself as an issue onto freemasons.

Houston said...

Caveat -

Another point outside the specific issue is that all freemasons have a caveat that protects them under the obligation.

'...and I finding them worthy'

If you do not find the brother worthy, then no one can force you to do otherwise.

As another aside, many Grand Lodges have avoided inserting language forbidding homosexuals from freemasonry simply in regard to avoiding lawsuits, however the generic 'morality code' serves as the mechanism. As such, it is not an issue a Grand Lodge needs to address. Each lodge and each voting member can apply it as they deem fit.

David Thomson said...

The real issue here is not homosexuality, but morality. Freemasonry declares itself a moral organization and the ancient charges require that we reject immoral and scandalous men. Our ritual also states that we do not admit madmen or fools. When I joined Freemasonry, I was explicitly told that homosexuals fell under the category of fools.

The question that has not been debated is whether homosexuality is moral behavior. Morality is those actions and behaviors that lead to the good health and well-being of individuals and communities. Behaviors that contribute to disease and misery are immoral by definition. This also includes unhealthy eating and drinking habits, by the way. And there are many Freemasons guilty of this who need to clean up their act.

Freemasons must not get stuck on the topic of homosexuality. Our focus should be on morality in general and what it means. As a moral organization, we have a right to define morality and accept members who meet our criteria. We must not allow popular culture to define morality for us. We have set high moral standards for membership for hundreds of years and must continue to do so to maintain the quality of our organization.

Lee Love said...

David, morality/disease? You mean, I could get kicked out of the lodge for picking my nose and not washing my hands?

The K.N.O. said...

Though Brother David and I might not agree on everything stated, on this statement of his above I agree 100%:
"We must not allow popular culture to define morality for us."