The Grand Lodge of Kentucky is the latest battle ground in the fight to bring Freemasonry into the 21st century, where brothers are calling other brothers “a flaming faggot” in their sexual orientation.
From the Lexington Herald-Leader in the state of Kentucky, the W. Master of Winchester Masonic lodge was asked to resign because of his recent coming out as being gay. His admission was enough to cause some distraught brothers to walk out on the W. Master because of their distress.
Refusing the insistence of his resignation, Frankfort lodge drafted a petition to change the state’s fraternal constitution to prohibit openly Gay men from being Masons, the proposed change saying:
“Freemasonry is pro-family and recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman. Any other relationship is a violation of the moral law and therefore unmasonic conduct. Homosexual relationships, openly professed and practiced, are a violation of the moral law and therefore unmasonic conduct. No openly homosexual Freemason shall be allowed to retain membership in this grand jurisdiction.”
Taken at the annual meeting of the Kentucky Grand Lodge, the constitutional change was rejected, but not without rumblings that there would be more on this in the future.
You can read the whole story on the Herald-Leader.
The issues does open the door to a wider consideration, that as roughly 15% of the U.S. population is gay (see the Gallup Poll data and the Demographics of sexual orientation from Wikipedia statistics) it goes without saying that so too then would the Lodge have a similar percentage of gay members. And, as such, those brothers may or may not be out in the open, given the reaction of those around them. is it right then to discriminate against them?
In the article, it mentions that following the vote there was a degree of grumbling that lead some observers to say that the issue would manifest again in the future to try and amend the constitution to encompass some meaning of family values so as to prohibit gay men from becoming member, which would likely mean some test administered at petition to determine orientation.
All of this is absolutely absurd, given that the fraternity is secular and precipitated on the idea of equality and liberty. On the reverse, the Kentucky state constitution was amended to say “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as legal in Kentucky”, but this issue goes beyond the recognition of marriage to a discrimination based on preference.
The argument is that homosexuality goes against the moral law, but as I’ve pointed out in the past, which Moral Law? As a Mason, I have to say, their argument does not wash and any man who is a just and upright individual can stand and be a Mason. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is not a valid argument to exclude from the organization, just as race (and gender) should not be either. To exclude by orientation like this is an undue control over someone in an area that has no consequence to their experience.
By accepting the reality that there are members who are gay, so too do we need to accept the idea of same sex partner widowers, who should be just as important in remembering as the heterosexual counterparts. Yes, this is a dramatic awakening to very real social issue and one that is not insurmountable or destructive towards the institution. To the contrary, to wall the Fraternity behind a morality test of pro-family/anti gay vitriol is a sure fire way to seal the future of the fraternity into a political abyss of social dis-unity. In other words, Freemasonry would no longer be an active participant in civil society becoming instead a political club house.
What do you think? Should Freemasonry be tolerant towards openly Gay members?