Grand Lodge of Georgia Bans Gay Men

georgia bans gay masons

Here we go again in Georgia. Remember Victor Marshall who the Grand Lodge of Georgia tried to expel for being a Non-White? If not refresh your memory with the Freemason Information article My Brother’s Keeper –  Open Racism In Georgia Freemasonry.

Now it’s open war on homosexuals. Where will it all end? Do you think that Georgia can mimic Florida and ban all Pagan religions also?

Chris Hodapp on his Masonic Blog Freemasons For Dummies reports:

Chris Hodapp

Chris Hodapp

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.”

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 gay activist, but we live in different times now, and the Supreme Court has spoken on the subject. Like it or not, such rules may 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.


Hodapp also reports on the Grand Lodge of Tennessee attempting to expel a Gay member.

Author Brother Michael Karpovage has this to say:

Michael Karpovage

Michael Karpovage

What an utterly embarrassing day it is for Freemasonry in the state of Georgia. An angry day. We are a non-religious educational institution based on Brotherly Love for our fellow man. Tolerance is a key tenet of the organization. A man’s character is all that matters. Not his race, his personal religion, his wealth or social status. And certainly NOT his sexuality.

Yet, our deeply religious Grand Master just shoved down our throats (pun intended) an edict that bans a homosexual from becoming a Mason on the basis that it’s moral sin under God. His version of God. There was no debate, no unanimous decision. There wasn’t a statewide call for this action by the brethren. It was issued like an executive order in the very last month of his term. He opened Pandora’s Box and I certainly gave him an earful of which I’ll probably be reprimanded for or worse. But I will not sit idly by without raising my voice.

This is what scares me about these Ralph Reed-type religious far-right wingers in our country. I believe in separation of church and state. I joined this institution specifically because religion and politics (two of the most divisive subjects of mankind) are strictly prohibited from being discussed within a lodge. And with one man’s actions, now all GA Masons will be painted as backward ass bigots.

Brotherly Love. Oh, the irony.

Update – Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015: Chris Hodapp posted:

The Grand Lodge of Georgia met yesterday and the voting members upheld Grand Master Douglas McDonald’s edict outlawing homosexuality, and throwing in fornication for good measure.

So it would appear that Georgia Masonry has taken a stand on the subject.

-the Editor

Freemason Tim Bryce.

A Masonic Bill of Rights

What do you think? Leave your comment at the end of this post.

bill of rights

When you enter the Masonic fraternity you tend to take a lot for granted. For example, that your Lodge will operate like other nonprofit institutions you are familiar with or the general laws and rules of the country and state where you reside. Interestingly, it doesn’t and, instead, marches to its own unique drummer. Aside from the obligations you take as a Mason, you are really not cognizant of the mechanisms of the fraternity or what you are entitled to. This caused me a couple of years ago to start seeking a “Bill of Rights” for the individual Mason. Remarkably, you don’t find very much in this regards. There is of course the Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry, but this is more geared towards the administration of the Grand Lodge system. Masonic law differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but it too primarily addresses the workings of the Grand Lodge. But finding a listing of the fundamental rights we should all enjoy as individual Master Masons is another matter altogether. To this end, I have assembled an initial list of rights. I began by examining the U.S. Bill of Rights as well as other comparable documents. I then reviewed drafts of my proposed rights with other Masons whom I respect.

Below is my final draft of the rights all Master Masons in good standing should enjoy.

Masonic Bill of Rights

  1. Freedom of speech. The right for recognized Master Masons to assemble and discuss subjects pertaining to the fraternity in general, and the right of recognized Master Masons belonging to a specific jurisdiction to assemble and discuss subjects pertaining to their governing Masonic body. This includes the drafting and debating of legislation pertaining to the Master Mason’s Craft Lodge and governing Masonic body. Such discourse should be done respectfully and not violate Masonic obligations.
  2. Universal treatment. The right to be treated with equal courtesy and dignity as other members of the Lodge, whether at home or as a visitor, with friendship, morality, and brotherly love. This includes being treated fairly, honestly, respectfully, and helpfully by Masonic brothers and act as such in return; to offer wise counsel to Brothers when needed, and accept such in return; and to promote trust and cooperation between brothers. To avoid discussions in Lodge regarding religion and politics which may disrupt the harmony of the Lodge. Master Masons respect the opinions and dignity of the individual.
  3. Freedom of information. The right to be made aware of the actions and activities of the governing Masonic body of which the Master Mason belongs. This includes full disclosure of financial accounting, the rules and regulations under which the Masonic body operates, all records pertaining to the individual Mason (his own records), the names and contact information of Lodge brothers, and a report on the general administration of the Masonic body.
  4. Freedom to participate. The right to attend all recognized Masonic meetings and related functions while adhering to proper Masonic decorum. To volunteer time and service in support of the Lodge, the community, and the world at large.
  5. Fair trial. In all Masonic prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy, fair and impartial trial, open to all recognized Master Masons, and judged by a jury of his Masonic peers. The accused will be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
  6. Right to vote. The right to vote and ballot on all pertinent issues related to the Master Mason’s Craft Lodge and governing Masonic body.
  7. Right to representation. The right to expect the elected officers of the Craft Lodge to represent the collective interests of its membership, and that the elected officers of the governing Masonic body to represent the collective interests of the Craft Lodges. In no event are the elected officers of the Craft Lodge to usurp the rights or misrepresent the Master Mason, and in no event are the elected officers of the governing Masonic body to usurp the rights or misrepresent the Craft Lodges.
  8. Right to seek further light. The right for a Master Mason to seek out and investigate the secrets, history, and workings of the Masonic Order and to share such knowledge with recognized Master Masons.

I have been over this list numerous times and have been very sensitive to the wording. Nonetheless, I am sure there is an omission I have undoubtedly overlooked or something requiring clarification or improvement. Consequently, I see this “Masonic Bill of Rights” as a work in progress and would welcome your suggestions for improving it.

This list alone should make for some interesting food for thought, particularly for our younger Brethren as they embark on their Masonic career.

Keep the Faith.

Freemasonry From the Edge
Freemasonry From the Edge

by W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
This article is a reprint from its original posting on this site.
A Foot Soldier for Freemasonry

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this essay are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of any Grand Masonic jurisdiction or any other Masonic related body. As with all of my Masonic articles herein, please feel free to reuse them in Masonic publications or re-post them on Masonic web sites (except Florida). When doing so, please add the following:

Article reprinted with permission of the author and Please forward me a copy of the publication when it is produced.

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Copyright © 2008 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.