I have received disturbing news from Tennessee. It seems that a gay Brother recently married another man, as per the SCOTUS ruling on national gay marriage. Unfortunately, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee's code Sec. 4.2105 (27) specifically states that it is a Masonic offense to "To engage in lewd conduct. To promote or engage in homosexual activity. To cohabit immorally in a situation without the benefit of marriage", and the Grand Master is making moves to expel the Brother.
The Brother in question has issued a detailed response discussing the situation, and has sent copies to several lodges in his area, the Grand Master, and every grand lodge in the US plus the UGLE. He is not going to go quietly, and in light of the recent change in the legal determination of the Supreme Court, I can't say as I blame him. We have perhaps thousands of gay members around the world who have been active, upright Masons for centuries, and it's not the lodge's or Grand Lodge's business what goes on in his bedroom. As long as he's not proselytizing in open lodge or violating his obligation, IT'S NONE OF OUR BUSINESS!
Furthermore, official codes that outlaw homosexuality, like other races, are letting themselves in for a major lawsuit and grand lodges should remove such language as soon as possible.
To read the Brother's letter, see the .pdf at http://www.freemasonsfordummies.com/TennesseeGayMarriageCharges.pdf
Last week in Georgia, the Grand Master, Douglas McDonald, issued an edict with the endeavor to change their adultery provision to additionally read, "Homosexual activity with anyone subjects the offender to discipline."
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I'm afraid there will be more of this. Brethren should consider that they have all probably been sitting in lodge with homosexuals since the day they became an EA. I strongly encourage Masons to check their state's code and take steps to remove these provisions. I'm no social justice activist, but we live in very different times now, and the Supreme Court has spoken on the subject. Like it or not, agree with it or not, such rules may potentially subject us to lawsuits, and I humbly beseech Grand Masters not to act rashly because homosexuality conflicts with their own personal views of morality. We have had thousands of gay members since our beginnings, almost entirely without incident or without bringing disgrace upon the Craft.
What someone does in the privacy of their own bedrooms is none of our business, as long as they don't bring their politics into the lodge room or violate their obligations. If we as Masons, sitting in lodges, suddenly take it upon ourselves to weigh in on each others' spouses or paramours and their private choices that violate no law, this fraternity will find itself in a death spiral very quickly.
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