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 Post subject: Gay Friendly Lodges
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:52 pm 
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Location: Auckland
Hello - I am a master mason from the UK who has recently emigrated to NZ and live in Auckland. I am keen to join a local lodge.

However, as a gay man I know from experience in the England that some lodges are more 'gay friendly' than others, and some not at all.

So, I would be interested in hearing from anyone about liberal or open minded lodges in Auckland that I could approach and join without fear of overt discrimination. Better still if they actually welcome male partners to lodge social events.

Thank you. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:29 pm 
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Hi Telferscot...

You may have got the hint from the lack of replys! I don't know if there are many lodges hhere ready for this debate - although I have seen it on overseas forums. I wish you well in your search!

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Adrian Douglas
IPM/Secretary
NZ Pacific Lodge No.2
Wellington


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:53 pm 
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Location: Auckland
Hi

Yes..... the silence kind of tells me something!

Oh well - I suspect that eventually I'll find out by word of mouth that there may be a lodge somewhere here in Auckland that is slightly more welcoming than others.

There is a gay business association in Auckland (that I belong to) & I suspect one or two of their members will know something so I'll start asking around.

Optimistically, it might just be that no one wants to put 'pen to paper' but that doesn't necessarily mean something isn't happening - maybe!

Thanks for the response.

Fraternally,

Robert


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:55 pm 
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Just as a thought.......If anybody wanted to respond privately then I can be reached here:

telferscot@hotmail.com

Robert


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:52 am 
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
I am aware we have some gay members in the Craft in NZ, chances are they may just not be inputting on the Forum.

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Hadyn Nicholls PM
Homewood Lodge 447
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http://www.homewood-lodge.net.nz
Wellington District Education Officer


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:34 pm 
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Location: Invercargill, new Zealand
Hi guys

I think it's wise to speak frankly about this topic. Firstly, as far as I am aware there is nothing in the Book of Constitution which bars gays from becoming Freemasons and I would be very surprised if any Lodge in New Zealand has a clause in its by-laws denying admittance to gays. On the other hand, I think I would be safe in saying that the vast majority of Freemasons in New Zealand are uncomfortable with homosexuality and would probably not go out of their way to welcome or befriend an openly gay brother. I would be very surprised if there is a "gay friendly" lodge anywhere in New Zealand.

Having said that, there no doubt are a number of gay Freemasons spread around New Zealand but I would hazard a guess that their homosexuality is generally not known the other brethren in the lodge. Frankly, mannerism is the key to it. During my life I have worked with gays and come to know some socially who have none of the mannerisms which tend to be associated with gay men. In other words, they make no point or display about being gay and the people around them never suspect it and only find out about them in a round about way. Such a gay man would usually be accepted in a Masonic lodge. However, a gay man who made a point and a display of gayness in a Masonic lodge would almost certainly be given the cold shoulder. I don't think I could be more candid than that -but it's reality.

Best of luck in you search Brother.

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Martin I.McGregor
Secretary,Southern Cross Lodge No.9
Master, Research Lodge of Southland No.415
Past Grand Steward
Southland District Publicity Officer
Editor Southland Masonic Newsletter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:56 pm 
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Have to agree mostly with you, the overt mannerisms are something that is adopted and I know of several gay people who are actually unimpressed with those people, there is (from my understanding) separate groups within the gay community, those who wish to fly under the radar and those who wish everyone they meet to know they are gay.
Ironically, there is a parallel in Freemasonry with those proud to speak of it and those who fly under the radar.............

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Hadyn Nicholls PM
Homewood Lodge 447
Recruitment & Publicity Officer
http://www.homewood-lodge.net.nz
Wellington District Education Officer


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:21 pm 
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Location: Invercargill, new Zealand
Hi guys

I guess what I am saying is that, in a Masonic Lodge,differences in religion, politics, race, socio/economic status is not an issue unless some brother makes it an issue. The same applies to sexuality. Regular Freemasonry is an institution for men, ostensibly for heterosexual men but nevertheless homosexuality is still a male activity for the purpose of this consideration, so Freemasonry is silent on the issue. In Masonic terms, provided he is biologically a male, the sexual preferences of a brother is just as much his private business as his religious or political alignment but he is just as bound, in Freemasonry, to avoid promoting his sexuality as his religious or political preferences.

So, I would say to any gay brother, homosexuality is only an issue if you make it an issue. If you are not overtly gay you will blend in to the Lodge scene, no worries - but if you make an issue out of it don't be surprised if other brothers avoid you. It's a fact of life as I am sure you will know from your own life experience. Frankly, gay brothers should not go searching for "gay friendly" lodges - no lodge should show any preference or favour to any particular group of men in any case!

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Martin I.McGregor
Secretary,Southern Cross Lodge No.9
Master, Research Lodge of Southland No.415
Past Grand Steward
Southland District Publicity Officer
Editor Southland Masonic Newsletter


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 Post subject: Gay Friendly
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:40 pm 
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Location: Auckland
Dear All

Brother McGregor makes several valid points on the issue of another Brother's private life and sexual preference. However I'm not certain that I would group this topic with politics and religion, which are specifically forbidden from discussion. The reason I say this is that within the lodge topics of a man's working life, home life, and social life may arise. In most cases for gay men and heterosexual men there won't be many differences. However, my experience has been that whilst most people don't recognise me as gay if I start to talk about my partner and what he does or our social life in casual ordinary conversation then some brothers may be subtley or openly hostile. Not that I'm expecting other brothers to be supportive, indifference would be fine!

I understand the point too about mannerisms but I know of quite a few men with camp or effeminate mannerisms who are heterosexual! Being camp or effeminate is not the preserve of gay men, in fact I know of very few gay men who are effeminate. If one could in the lodge (as in life really) simply be gay, perhaps be known to be gay, but it be of no consequence to the business of the lodge. and be generally accepted, then so much the better.

For me such a lodge would be 'gay friendly' - ideally an unnecessary term and something which shouldn't be sort because such openness, tolerance and welcome would be routine lodge business. But that's not always the case.

I do welcome this discussion, which in itself is encouraging.

Fraternal regards,

Robert


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:01 pm 
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This is a thorny one Robert. When I said not to expect to find gay friendly lodges, I was rather thinking of a lodge which might make a point about being gay friendly or might even be a part of what might be described as the gay scene. I now see that you have no such expectation but you have obviously experienced alienation as a consequence of revealing your relationship with your partner.

I guess the realistic answer is that there is really no way of telling in advance how the news of your gayness would be received in any lodge. It rather boils down to the individual attitudes of the members and I think you would find a mixture of reactions in any lodge. You will strike the hard-liners who will shun you because they firmly believe homosexuality is immoral, you will strike those who are ambivalent, who will strike those who are wary but sociable, you will strike those who will accept you without difficulty and you might meet another brother who is gay. As you know, most lodges have a fair cross section of people.

Things would get really serious if a group of brethren ganged up on you and tried to get you excluded from the lodge on the grounds of your sexuality. As far as I can see they would have no constitutional grounds for doing so, but it might not stop them trying and things could get nasty and spoil you enjoyment of Freemasonry. Let's hope you never encounter that. I don't believe there are any gay friendly lodges, but as far as I know, there are no gay hostile ones either.

I quite agree with your point about some heterasexuals having camp mannerisms. That is so true.

My advise would be to stay cool and don't be the one to push the issue. If you have not already committed to a lodge, maybe you could visit a selection of lodges and form your own impressions.

I hope these comments are of some help.

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Martin I.McGregor
Secretary,Southern Cross Lodge No.9
Master, Research Lodge of Southland No.415
Past Grand Steward
Southland District Publicity Officer
Editor Southland Masonic Newsletter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 4:37 pm 
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Well, it's been a while since I been to this forum as it seems a bit quiet. But to answer your question, I don't believe it would be an issue. I have never asked a candidate about his sexuality, nor am I aware of a Board of Inquiry raising it.

We are now careful to use the term Partner when referring to a Brother's 'better-half.' What with the different lifestyles today, that is unlikely to exclude or offend anyone haha.

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IPM Unanimity Lodge No 3,


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:49 pm 
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Hi Lynz

You are a bit ahead of us yokels down in Southland with the "term partner" expression! That would just about take the Political Correctness Of the Year Award! But it's good. Like you, I have never known any Brother to be questioned or challenged over his sexual orientation. You've got me at it now! Seriously, our original inquirer should have no worries provided, as I have said before, he himself does not make it an issue.

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Martin I.McGregor
Secretary,Southern Cross Lodge No.9
Master, Research Lodge of Southland No.415
Past Grand Steward
Southland District Publicity Officer
Editor Southland Masonic Newsletter


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 Post subject: Re: Gay Friendly Lodges
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:27 pm 
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"The ultimate success of Masonry depends on the intelligence of her disciples." - Albert Mackey

I am quite surprised by the lack of pro-active response to the question. Homosexuality issues have been long abolished. Freemasonry won't go very far we lose the cutting edge and liberal ideas that made this practice so great through Scottish enlightenment and continental American formation.

The fact is, there were great homosexual freemasons. Great men. Great leaders. Is time to a change of mentality to allow accommodation of thoughts. What would be of Wittegenstein, Oscar Wilde and Franklin if homosexuality was an issue.

The true fact is: There is nothing in masonry forbidden homosexuality and so it shouldn’t. Homosexuals are capable of family and virtual values like any other men and this is what matters to us.

You should be allowed and well accepted to any Masonic Lodge in New Zealand and anywhere else.

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Allfather - Lodge Auckland 87 - Northern District
http://www.lodgeauckland87.co.nz


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 Post subject: Re: Gay Friendly Lodges
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 8:33 pm 
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Location: Kumeu West Auckland
Very well said Allfather, (I'm a strait family man) and i have many Friends that are gay and are some of the best people i know, and they have the same life , and family morals that every other person i know has , they are loving dads and partners, and i have no hesitations in welcoming anyone gay into our lodge (i cannot speak for the rest of my Brothers at kumeu :? )
but it is how the world is , and you cannot ask them to change, just like telling someone to not believe in a higher being?

Live and let live, and be happy :o

As an add on i found this good editorial on the topic that it think says it all.

The purpose of this article is not to discuss homosexuality, nor really, to discuss the possibility that there may be gay men in lodges. That written, is would be silly NOT to note something fairly obvious: given that 2% of the population is gay, and no lodge asks if a candidate is gay, we must assume that there are gay men in the lodges.

Of course, the corollary of the above argument may be true. Homosexuals are not exactly welcomed into most lodges, and if an openly gay man showed up at the west gate asking admission, I would not be at all surprised if at least one member of the lodge would not cast a black cube. Masons are men and products of our culture, after all.

I am not going to ask you to think about whether you would blackball an openly gay man, nor ask you to consider not casting a black cube on a gay man (ok, that last isn’t entirely true). Of course, the issue here really isn't homosexuality, its just an example, because the issue here is whether or not we should be projecting OUR morality and value set(s) onto other people.

Freemasonry teaches us, among other issues, that we should be tolerant and charitable to others. What I am going to suggest is what we, as masons SHOULD be doing about the issue.

Lets say this year, the candidate proposed for Junior Warden was revealed as an active gay man. Lets say for the sake of argument that he is a pillar of the lodge, always ready to lend a hand, is a voice of reason, leads Masonic education in the lodge, and is otherwise the very embodiment of what we look for in a Mason.

Then you find out he is gay. Would you vote for him to serve as the Junior Warden of your lodge? Would you vote for him to serve as MASTER of your lodge? If not, why not? Think carefully here, because as Masons, we are taught the value of tolerance and are taught that we are each to apply the tools of Freemasonry to ourselves.

Christianity teaches that homosexuality is a sin… but Christians are also taught to hate the sin and love the sinner. Christianity teaches many things, but Masonry, as we keep telling the objectors and other pinheads, is not a Christian based organization. It is not a religion at all. It is a fraternity, as we all know, of men with a faith in g-d, however we each, individually, know and define him in our lives.

A fundamental (sorry) tradition of Freemasonry is that we do not push our religion on others in lodge. So how can we apply our understanding of a book translated from a language that has no word for homosexual into the lodge? How do we apply our morality?

This has much larger implications for the lodge, for our lives and our community. I chose this instant example because it is one that we have certainly experienced, or thought about, or talked about. How you apply your morality to your life is important, because it defines the Masonic edifice you are erecting.

How you apply your morality to OTHER people’s lives also defines you and that Masonic edifice.

Would you deny a man the opportunity to learn and grow from a Masonic experience, a man who is otherwise just and true, because of one aspect of this life, an aspect you personally do not agree with? If you would cast a black cube on a gay man, knowing he was gay, or vote no for a brother (because yes, he is a brother) who was nominated as an officer in your lodge because he was gay, what other action would you take to enforce YOUR morality, your understanding, your version of truth on others?

Lets step away from the issue of homosexuality for a moment, because its really not the focus here. What if the candidate was living with his girlfriend and their child? Would you cast a black cube then? What if the candidate had lived with his girlfriend for years, and then married her just before petitioning for the degrees, would that change your vote?

What if the man were participating in a totally legal enterprise where you lived? Lets say he owned a restaurant with a bar in it. Some brothers feel that selling alcohol is immoral. Would you cast a black cube for a man because he sells alcohol?

This is an important question, not because of the instant issue, homosexuality, alcohol, living in “sin”, because the issue isn’t these things. The issue is you, my brother, it is each of us, in the silence of our conscience. Honor and integrity is what you do when no one is looking.

We are each called to act in a just and upright manner, in our several stations before g-d and man. EACH of us individually. We are called to circumscribe our passions, desires, prejudices, each of us. No where in Freemasonry are we tasked with circumscribing each OTHERS passions, desires, prejudices.

I have stated often, its not about me changing them, it’s about me changing me. Here is a perfect case of that, and the question is, what will we, each of us, do when confronted with something we don’t like or agree with in our lives? Will we judge it? Well, we can’t avoid judging, its our values based lives that require it.

Judging, however, does not mean imposing sentence. As Masons, we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family, the rich and the poor, the high and the low, who, as created by one almighty parent and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support and protect each other.

If a man, who is otherwise qualified, is blackballed or a candidate for office in our lodges is voted down who is otherwise qualified, ready, willing and able, because of something in his life we disagree with, how are we helping him, aiding him, supporting or protecting him? Would we not be failing him in doing so?

As I noted above, I am not here to advocate homosexuality, nor, frankly, to condemn it. It is not for me, but then, I wasn’t born gay… and no one can seriously think ANYONE would CHOSE to be homosexual, any more than someone chooses to be blonde, or brown eyed, or short, or tall or… it is what it is.

We need, each of us, in our growth as Masons, to apply the tools of the fraternity to our own rough ashlars, assist our brethren in perfecting their ashlars, and refrain from applying our tools to their work. That is a great task set before us… and frankly, most of us have enough to do with perfecting our own ashlars without judging others…

You see, its really, really easy to judge someone else. The difficult part is in judging ourselves… that’s why many spend so much time judging other people and so little time judging themselves. We however, are Masons. We work in stone, and the work, while rewarding, is difficult.

This then brings us to the subject of Masonic Morality. But then, that’s another blog topic for later.

http://beaconofmasoniclight.blogspot.co ... odges.html

_________________
Neil McLeod

Northern Division Communication Officer
Auckland District West Communication Officer
Lodge Communication Officer
Web Master:
http://www.freemasons-northern.co.nz
http://www.freemasonswest.co.nz/
http://www.lodgekumeu279.co.nz


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 Post subject: He gay friendly lodges
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:58 pm 
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I am in search of some gay friendly lodges in Freemasons having ecofriendly environment because I am totally new on this site and wants some suggestion on this topic, please help.....!


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 Post subject: Re: Gay Friendly Lodges
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:14 pm 
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Ajay - maybe you should review your comments as they do not seem to make any sense, I am hoping you are a genuine poster to the site.

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Hadyn Nicholls PM
Homewood Lodge 447
Recruitment & Publicity Officer
http://www.homewood-lodge.net.nz
Wellington District Education Officer


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 Post subject: Re: Gay Friendly Lodges
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:37 pm 
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Posts: 339
Location: Taupo NZ
On a practical basis, every candidate for membership of any Lodge is accepted or rejected by the Brethren of that Lodge. It is their decision and cannot be overruled. It doesn't matter if the Candidate is already a member of the Craft, each Lodge can still decide to accept or reject his application. It only needs the appropriate number of black balls and the ballot is secret so no one knows (or should know) who deposited them. If, for whatever reason he is blackballed, he can apply to another Lodge who might accept him - or not! However that only applies to existing Freemasons, not to Candidates for Initiation who can't reapply for membership to any Lodge for a further 12 months (BoC Rule 56)

I am not aware of any specifically 'gay friendly' Lodges as such. However one's sexual orientation is not generally raised and I can't really see it being an issue unless you make it one.

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Keith Walker
Kaimanawa 426
Waikato Lodge of Research 445


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 Post subject: Re: Gay Friendly Lodges
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:50 am 
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Fraternal Greetings from the Eastern United States. I am interested in learning about and communicating with gay Masons around the world.

Lodges in my area are generally more socially liberal than in other parts of the USA, though it takes all kinds and we of course do not discuss religion or politics in Lodge. Gay Masons do serve openly at every level of the Fraternity, especially in the less conservative states of Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York. I am sure that things are very different in other states, particularly in the Deep South and "Bible Belt" (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi etc.).

I would like to communicate with Gay Masons to compare notes on how it is for gay Masons in other jurisdictions. Please say hello!


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 Post subject: Re: Gay Friendly Lodges
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:12 pm 
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I struggle to see how a lodge could be Gay "unfriendly". Homosexuality is not a crime in this country and what people do in their bedrooms is their private business, not the business of the lodge.

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Jeff Allan, P.G.Lec
Librarian, Hawkes Bay Research Lodge No305
Secretary, The Heretaunga Lodge No73


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 Post subject: Re: Gay Friendly Lodges
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:04 am 
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Hi Jeff and All.

jeffallan305 wrote:
I struggle to see how a lodge could be Gay "unfriendly".

Oh, quite easily.

Here in London, there are quite a few Brethren who happen to be gay. In general, it doesn't appear to be an issue, but sometimes there can be problems. I'll describe an example.

A bloke I knew slightly (but hadn't seen for a few years) decided to become a Mason, and joined via the only contact whom he knew to be a Brother. As a result he didn't have a choice of Lodges, and ended up in a Lodge consisting entirely of older Brethren, some of whom had quite elderly attitudes. He was Initiated, but at his next meeting, one of the Grand Officers made some stridently anti-homosexual remarks. Since the new EA was gay, he felt very uncomfortable and never went back to his Lodge. A few months later I ran into him again, and he mentioned what had happened. He still liked the idea of being a Mason, but didn't want to go to that Lodge and didn't know how to go about finding a more suitable Lodge. So I introduced him to one of my own Lodges, where I reckoned he wouldn't meet such prejudice. They certainly all knew he was gay, since I had explained the circumstances when I proposed him, and he was accepted without hesitation.

The thing is, it wasn't certain that the senior Brother who offended the EA knew that the new Brother was gay ... but he probably did, since the new Brother tends to be fairly obvious about his orientation. It also wasn't clear if he made offensive remarks purely off his own bat, or if he'd been put up to it by anyone else. Either way, though, it doesn't make much difference, because it only takes one member being loudly intolerant to make his target feel very uncomfortable. So I'd call that Lodge "gay unfriendly", even if it might be the case (I don't know) that the other members are all more tolerant.

jeffallan305 wrote:
Homosexuality is not a crime in this country and what people do in their bedrooms is their private business, not the business of the lodge.

Indeed so, and of course the same is true here in England.

However, this does raise an interesting question: what about those places where homosexuality is a crime? Some of those places, the question wouldn't arise because freemasonry is illegal as well. But there are numerous countries (mainly in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean) where freemasonry operates but homosexuality is prohibited. Obviously Masons are obligated to obey the law of the land, so presumably in those countries Lodges must exclude gays as criminals. Do Lodges in such places therefore ask about sexual orientation, I wonder?

T & F,

Huw


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