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Thursday, May 12, 2016

GL of NY Issues Statement About GA and TN

A discussion was held the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of New York last week on the question of how to proceed with the situation in Georgia and Tennessee. It was decided that  their new Grand Master, MW Jeffrey M. Williamson, would first issue a statement concerning the sexual orientation rules of those states before making determination concerning  possible withdrawal of Masonic amity. The statement was issued today. Click the image above to enlarge it.

It reads in part:
While we respect the sovereignty of all other Grand Lodges, the Grand Lodge of New York believes Freemasonry is a universal fraternity comprised of men from every corner of the world; from every religion and ethnicity; from every creed and color; from every shape, size and sexual orientation. 
Masons have learned long ago, that what truly matters is the content of the heart, and the quality of the soul. Our members practice the  tenants [sic] of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, and our requirements for those seeking membership is a belief in a Supreme Being, the immortality of the soul, being a man, freeborn, well recommended and of lawful age.
Furthermore, it is decided that any Grand Lodge who digresses or impedes upon these universally accepted qualifications for candidacy into this honored institution, may risk the good standing  and recognition they currently enjoy with this Grand Lodge.

(For complete links to all of the stories on this site relating to the ongoing situation with the grand lodges of Georgia and Tennessee, CLICK HERE for the updated page.)


  1. Not sure where the narrative of a "narrow" vote came from --there was no motion or vote on the issue at Grand Lodge at all.

    I was there, and from the floor even expressed my own misgivings to invoke the "nuclear option" of revoking recognition. There was at least one passionate brother concerned that not going that far was equivocal to "doing nothing", but the overwhelming sentiment was one of heartfelt disappointment tempered by the prudence of respecting sovereignty and fear of larger consequences.

    Anyone who was there would know this was an open discussion that built a general consensus in favor of Grand Master Thomas's position that setting an example by our own Masonic integrity was the higher road. But whatever would have been decided I would have hoped we would be in unity.

    But until and unless that time comes, I for one have a problem with penalizing every brother in one or more states, including those in fear of being disenfranchised of Light by their own leadership. When you break recognition, it isn't just withholding Brotherly Love from some grand body, but all the brethren of that jurisdiction.

    1. Based on your message, I have changed the post because of conflicting reports from the session.

    2. The post does not appear to have changed ... it still says there was a vote. And for clarification, the discussion took place under the previous Grand Master, before elections.

    3. Hmm. Try reloading the page. The changes appear on mine.

    4. See it now. Thanks. Thought I had rebooted since then and it shouldn't have been in the cache ... c'est la vie.

  2. The reports on the meeting conflict but the statement certainly carries an implied threat.

  3. My personal beliefs aside, we are taught to submit to legal authority and conform with the government of the country in which we live in. As such, in this particular issue, we need to conform with the rules of USA in this matter.

    1. Not sure how this argument informs our prudence. It may be now legal to be wed to the same sex, but it was never illegal to be gay ... or a woman for that matter, but we exclude them.

      Conversely, it's not illegal (by federal or state law) to open a lodge without a Sacred Volume of Law. We neither follow nor conform to secular law in most of what we do.

      Could you clarify what you mean?

  4. I believe the GL of CA suspended all Masonic communication with the GLs of GA and TN. While the GL of NY did not suspend recognition, it did express its displeasure with the homophobic positions of the GLs of GA and TN and kept open the possibility of communication. I fully support this position.

    Fairport-Flower City #476 F&AM
    32 Degree Scottish Rite, Valley of Dallas


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