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Monday, October 31, 2016

GL of California Reaffirms Suspension of Recognition with GA and TN

On the heels of last Tuesday's annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Georgia F&AM at which voting members narrowly failed in their attempt to remove the language barring homosexuals and co-habitation among Masons in that state from their Code, the members of the Grand Lodge F&AM of California have quickly responded.

At California's annual communication on Friday, a vote was taken to reaffirm Grand Master M. David Perry's edicts from March of this year that had suspended recognition of Georgia and Tennessee. The motion passed overwhelmingly. 

Back in March when his edicts were issued withdrawing recognition, Grand Master Perry stated, 
The Grand Lodge of Georgia ratified Grand Master McDonald’s Edict No. 2015-4 at the last Annual Communication of their Grand Lodge, thereby adding the following language to their Grand Lodge law: homosexual activity with anyone subjects the offender to discipline. The Grand Lodge of Tennessee recently suspended two brothers from Masonry for violating a provision of the Tennessee Masonic Code when they posted photographs of their wedding to each other on Facebook. The Tennessee Masonic Code states that it is a Masonic offense to promote or engage in homosexual activity. 
In each case, I construe these actions as a sectarian stand which is inconsistent with and does not support the General Regulations of Freemasonry. I have therefore suspended recognition of The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Georgia and the Grand Lodge of Tennessee F. & A. M. until the next Annual Communication of our Grand Lodge. 
As a result, California will officially continue to suspend Masonic amity with those two grand lodges for at least one more year, until the annual communication votes again, or the new 2016-17 Grand Master restores amity himself. Or until Georgia and Tennessee remove their restrictive rules.

Grand lodges of California, the District of Columbia, and Belgium all withdrew recognition with Georgia and Tennessee earlier this year over their rules barring homosexuals from membership.

For the ongoing background in this situation, SEE HERE.

16 comments:

  1. God has made his judgement on this matter and nowhere can it be found in our Holy Book where Homosexuality is condoned. Therefore, in my opinion, God makes the rules and who am I or anyone to argue with the creator of the universe? For those who want to say we should not judge. We are not judging, that has already been done by God himself, we are simply testifying to the word of God. PERIOD.

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    1. Keith, You truly illustrate the divide here. There is more than one Volume of Sacred Law. Going as far back as Anderson, we have it written (as the very first point) :


      A Mason is oblig’d 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. But though in ancient Times Masons were charg’d in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ’tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish’d; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain’d at a perpetual Distance.

      So, I hope for that day, when sectarian stands will not be made within the lodge, but we truly can be a place "whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain’d at a perpetual Distance."

      until that day my brother, I will be praying for us to both find compassion in our hearts, and the willingness to reach out and become true friends, rather than remaining at a perpetual distance.

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    2. Don't see where it's condemned either

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    3. To respond to your assertions here is something from our esteemed and famous Brother Mark Twain:

      "
      BIBLE

      It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.
      - Letters from the Earth

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    4. Brother Keith, during the transition from operative to speculative Masonry, major figures in the transformation had ideas of deity which were very distant from the notion of a god who was a sort of superman: they in many cases were not trinitarian Christians, had doubts about the inspired nature of scriptures, and rejected dogma. That is one of the reasons why many denominations reject or are lukewarm about the Craft. Its simply incorrect to use a particular "holy book" as a guide to Masonry.

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    5. No one holy book rules over Freemasonry. By implying that a singular text does so is to go against the principal that a man who believes in God, whose interpretation is left to the individual man.

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    6. Unfortunately, I see this perspective far too often where the Abrahamic dogmas are seen as the only acceptable rule and guide of faith

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  2. Not only overwhelmingly passed but unanimously followed by a standing ovation!!!!

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    1. It was not overwhelmingly passed. I was there. The vote was counted 231 for removal-247 against removal. If the younger members of our state had been allowed to vote, I have no doubt that it would have passed. As it stands now, we have last rights to perform here in Georgia. Our Craft was murdered in plain view of the Grand Lodge, by the very leaders and Past Masters most charged to insure it's health and continuation. There is not enough time left in Georgian, dare I say American, Freemasonry to repair the damage our leaders continually do to our image and our honor.

      Ethan Coker, Dalton Lodge #105, Dalton, Georgia

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    2. Ethan,
      The vote in GEORGIA to retain the anti-gay provision was indeed close: the 231 to 247 you mentioned. It was the vote in CALIFORNIA to continue to deny amity with Georgia over it that was overwhelming in number.

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    3. Yes, it was unanimous. It was beautiful to hear that enormous "aye" and then a complete silence after the question of 'all opposed?' came. I am so proud of MW Perry in his way of handling this situation. The speech he gave before the vote was very impressive. Too bad it was tiled... I would have loved to have gotten a recording.

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  3. Ah. For some reason I thought I was on the other page. That one is entirely my mistake. Too much choler over this particular issue. My apologies gentlemen.
    Ethan Coker, Dalton Lodge 105, Dalton, Georgia

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  4. I am the sitting Secretary of two Masonic Lodges in the District of Columbia. I am not expressing an opinion, nor am I presuming to speak for the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, but I did want to clear up a misunderstanding.

    The Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Kenneth D. Fuller, has NOT suspended recognition of the Grand Lodges of Georgia and Tennessee. What was suspended was fraternal relations. The way it was explained to me by the Grand Secretary, MWB Jeffrey D. Russell, PGM, is thus:

    If an INDIVIDUAL brother Mason from Georgia or Tennessee wishes to visit a DC lodge, as long as they don't have 'Grand' in their Masonic title, they can do so. Even groups of Masons from GA and TN can do that.

    What's not allowable is official delegations from lodges in GA or TN, headed by their Worshipful Master or his designee, or any delegation of Grand Lodge officers of either jurisdiction.

    It is a subtle difference, to be sure, but it is significant.

    J.D. Walker
    Secretary
    LaFayette-DuPont #19 and Arminius #25
    Free and Accepted Masons of the District of Columbia.

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    1. Brother Walker,

      Your insight is very much appreciated as it added much clarity to this subject. Thank you!

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    2. Brother Walker,

      Thank you for your clarity on this subject. The difference is significant indeed.

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  5. Apparently the reverse situation for California and Washington Masons visiting is somewhat different. And another aspect is the large number of active Masons who belong to the California research lodges but are in other jurisdictions as well, The research lodges issue dues cards, vote, and are not independent in the way groups like the Masonic Society are. Confusing.

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