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Monday, September 10, 2018

Australian Masons May be Considering Transgender Policy

Masonic ceremony at Town Hall, Sydney
The Daily Telegraph is reporting that there is now discussion to implement a 'gender reassignment' policy in Australia which would allow a transgender women to remain an Australian Freemason if she originally joined as a man. The policy would also extend to men who have lived as women.  This appears to be as a result of the recent policy statement on transgender Masons from the United Grand lodge of England in July. (See UGLE Issues Transgender Policy HERE.)

The article is hidden behind the Daily Telegraph's paid firewall, but the story was widely excerpted in the Daily Mail on its UK and Australia websites. 

The DM's version is unclear as to which of Australia's eight grand lodges it purports to be about, but New South Wales is depicted in the photos and in a quote from their Grand Secretary.

From "Freemasons threaten to QUIT ancient, all-male institution if chiefs allow transgender men and women to join the secret society" on September 6, 2018:

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) has already implemented the policy in the UK and there are calls for Australian Freemasons to follow suit, despite there being no overarching governing body for the organisation.

The UGLE released a document that said members are expected to act with 'kindness and tolerance' in matters related to gender transition.

Members of the society would still be formally referred to as 'brothers' but should be addressed informally by their name and chosen gender pronouns.

Branch members in Sydney have labelled the change as 'left's march through institutions' and would be willing to quit the society if implemented, the Daily Telegraph reported.

One source said it would be a sad day for the ancient and noble institution if transgender people were able to join. Another source argued masonry is 'the last man cave in modern society'.
'It's so far free from feminism and gender politics — a place where good men can gather and meet without having to tiptoe on egg shells, worried about social justice warriors, feminists or LGBTI police saying they are offended.'

A different source said the dynamic of the organisation would be altered if women were mixed into lodge meetings.

'It has been men only for 100s of years, but now if I nip and tuck, grow titties, wear a black skirt and live in England, I can still attend Lodge meetings,' he said.
One source, who has been a Freemasons member for over 20 years, argued a different view, claiming membership should be extended to women as the organisations core values are about making good humans even better.

'It is in my eye ridiculous that we exclude 50 per cent of the population just because of their sex. It should be up to the local Lodge to decide if they want to admit an interested human. As long as they are good people they should be able to apply for membership,' the source said.

United Grand Lodge of NSW and ACT Grand Secretary Stephen Green said a proposal had not been put forward but they would comply with UGLE if changes went before the committee.

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