The International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women, Le Droit Humain, works to the glory of the Great Architect of the Universe and/or to the Perfection of Humanity. On an individual level, it strives “to promote the progress of individual worth, without the imposition of Dogma, or exacting the abandonment of cultural or religious ideas.” On a group level “it works to unite men and women who agree on a humanist spirituality whilst respecting individual and cultural differences.” Freemasonry is a pathway of initiation; free from dogma, inspired by the search for truth, an understanding of human consciousness – a science of the spirit. Freemasonry provides a means by which its members, through the study of Masonic symbolism and tradition, may seek truth, promote brotherhood and work in the service of humanity.
Le Droit Humain is an international Masonic order that admits men and women on equal footing and is open to all earnest persons, of whatever race, religion, and ethnic or social group.
The basic difference is that Le Droit Humain Co-Freemasonry is available to men and women alike and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, nationality, religion, or ethnicity. Most Masonic groups admit only men (see What is Freemasonry for more on that denomination); some admit only women; some admit both.
The International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women – Le Droit Humain is a multi-national organization, with its governing body in Paris and groups in some sixty countries of the world. Le Droit Humain also combines in one organization several varieties of Masonry including Craft Masonry (the first three degrees), Scottish Rite and York Rite Masonry.
Different from the Eastern Star which is an adjunct organization to exclusively masculine Masonry intended primarily for the wives and daughters of Freemasons, Le Droit Humain has its own ceremonies which are different from those of traditional Grand Lodge dominated Freemasonry (see, but follows the traditional Masonic rites and practices. Any mainline Mason who attends a co-masonic meeting will recognize it as essentially similar to the all male practice.
The French expression Le Droit Humain is difficult to translate into English. It refers to Natural Law and Justice in human life, as distinct from laws that human beings make. It denotes the rights and responsibilities that every person is born with, those “unalienable Rights” cited in the American Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
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