"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Gay Marriage and the GL of Tennessee (and Georgia)

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."

Click image to enlarge:

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. 

Friday, September 04, 2015

Nebraska Masonic Museum Grand Opening

The Grand Lodge of Nebraska is opening its new Masonic library and museum. From the Omaha.com website today, an article by Blake Ursch: 
The Nebraska Masonic Foundation will cut the ribbon this weekend on a new museum documenting the Freemasons’ 158-year history in the state.
The grand opening of the foundation’s Masonic Museum and Research Library will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Masonic Grand Lodge of Nebraska, 301 N. Cotner Boulevard in Lincoln. The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 10 a.m.The museum will be open to the public and will house books and historical artifacts donated by Masons over the years, according to a press release.
Highlights include about 2,000 books on philosophy, history and spirituality, as well as artifacts, such as a 3,000-year-old Egyptian setting maul (a type of hammer). Ancient weaponry, such as the halberd, a combined spear and battle ax, will also be on display.
A special exhibit will focus on the history of Prince Hall Masonry, a predominantly African-American branch of Freemasonry. Representatives from Nebraska’s Prince Hall lodges will attend the opening.
In another exhibit, patrons can learn about the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, a world’s fair held in Omaha in 1898.
The $500,000 Grand Lodge building had a cornerstone-laying ceremony in June 2013. The museum, previously in a smaller location on 10th Street in Lincoln, has been moved into the new building.
The new facility provides a better display space as well as humidity and temperature controls, said Russ Reno, former grand master of the lodge.
Organizers are hoping to increase the museum’s inventory by generating support from Masonic lodges throughout the state.

Contact the writer: 402-444-3131, blake.ursch@owh.com,twitter.com/blakeursch_owh