UGLE Gender Policy

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by Ripcord22A, Aug 1, 2018.

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  1. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    We discriminate against atheists, women already so that ship sailed long ago...
     
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  2. darsehole

    darsehole Registered User

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    This is a step in the wrong direction.

    UGLE will lose more active freemasons than they will gain on this venture.

    One cannot simply re-write the rules of a 300 year old fraternity, based on the popular opinion of society outside of the craft.

    Transgendered people make up, at maximum estimate, 0.6% of the population.

    Out of those, you need to find one that believes in a supreme being, wants to join a Lodge, passes the scrutiny of an interview, is found mentally sane (despite their lifestyle EASILY being found contrary to the laws of science and nature), and then pass balloting.

    You will lose more than 0.6% of freemasons on the jurisdiction before you pass one candidate.

    UGLE has lost its path. If any bother feels the desire to petition their own GL to un-recognize UGLE as regular, they will not be alone.


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  3. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Not the same thing..
    The definition of what constitutes a “man” has changed and the UGLE policy reflects that-
    The choice to not exclude a man who has become a woman is likely done to avoid exposure on allegations of exclusion based of transgender status.
     
  4. Thomas Stright

    Thomas Stright Premium Member

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    I tend to beleive they did this to be PC and to keep under the radar.
     
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  5. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    True.
    I had not looked at it this way but your points are VERY valid!
     
  6. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    When he took his degrees he was a man. The Brothers in her mother lodge remember that status and probably in the rest of her district. The rest of us don't remember that.

    Should a women present herself for admission, she's a woman at the point I met her. Not admitted. We are quite open about discriminating based on gender. Having a valid letter of introduction and a form of current dues status (they don't call it a dues card, but that's what a dues card is) does not change her status as a woman.

    I'm not bothered by jurisdictions that take women. I'm not bothered by people who have identified as women all their lives transitioning to be physically female in visible characteristics to match their mental characteristics. My church group has a couple of people who transitioned and it just doesn't matter to that group. I am puzzled why someone who identifies as a woman would join a men's order, but I'm not even bothered by that. I am puzzled why someone who transitions would not demit, but I know how pervasive the fellowship at lodge is to many of us so I can imagine having one of the Brothers I already know transition and keep attending.

    But visiting a lodge where zero of the Brothers ever met you as a man? No thanks. Maybe you'd like me to help you google the nearest CoMason lodge.

    I get the point of the UGLE policy, but they should privately encourage folks to switch to a mixed gender jurisdiction. Think is, you can't exactly have a policy that openly asks specific people to switch jurisdictions. You can only say yes or no and under what circumstances.
     
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  7. Thomas Stright

    Thomas Stright Premium Member

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    My thought as well.....
     
  8. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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  9. Scoops

    Scoops Registered User

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    Indeed. Although, I would hasten to add that's its not EU legislation, as someone could easily bring up Brexit, but rather the European Convention on Human Rights, to which we will still be signatories after leaving the EU.

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  10. darsehole

    darsehole Registered User

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    Under the link you shared; According to several news sources, the UGLE is protected under English and European Union laws from legal accusations of gender discrimination because of Freemasonry's longstanding male-only admissions criteria. They are recognized in England and Wales under the law as a single-sex association.

    It can also be successfully argued that EU polices wouldn’t matter to UGLE, or any other British institution, since the population voted in favor of Brexit.

    Massive legal bills and headaches that will waste time and money, change nothing, and will only facilitate a small fraction of the (maximum estimate) 0.6% of the non-Masonic population that First desires, and secondly passes, initiation into the craft.

    This path can be described, at best, as nonsense.


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  11. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed!
     
  12. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    Im not to sure about it being EU legislation.
    In Sweden no policy like the one UGLE has been declared yet so it seems like there is something that brews in England.
     
  13. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    After some thought about this, I don't have a jurisprudence objection to one who physically transitioned to male and identifies as such. I also accept that the law determines if one is, or is not, a particular sex. Any personal objections are another matter.

    However, by the same token, if someone identifies as female, then I must respect that choice as well.

    The UGLE Principles of Recognition state:
    That the membership of the Grand Lodge and individual Lodges shall be composed exclusively of men; and that each Grand Lodge shall have no Masonic intercourse of any kind with mixed Lodges or bodies which admit women to membership. Page 7 https://www.ugle.org.uk/document-ar...for-the-guidance-of-members-of-the-craft/file

    My view is that if an individual whom I believe to be a woman is present in a tyled lodge, I must respectfully retire.

    I had a chat with a senior UK judge last night on the issue. We disagreed that men who had transitioned to women must remain in the fraternity.
     
  14. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    There is obviously a lot of politics involved here but I think it comes down to the legal requirement to address those who are identified male as such and the decision to not exclude is a charitable decision, though there are probably legal ramifications there too.

    As for it being such a small percentage, yes indeed it is and the .6% may seem insignificant but that figure comes from a 2016 survey by UCLA- that figures is DOUBLE the 2011 survey at .3%
    Either they are improving the survey technique or the transgender population has doubled in 5 years- either way I don’t think we can use these figures to write off hundreds of thousands of people as they appear statistically insignificant- not to mention that survey is only of the US, I doubt the US is an accurate representation of the entire world.
     
  15. darsehole

    darsehole Registered User

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    The absolute highest number I could find is 0.6%. That’s six in a thousand. I’d bet my oil and specie that the actual numbers are much, much lower.

    From there, let’s subtract the number that don’t believe in a supreme being. And then subtract those that don’t want to become freemasons.

    Now, let’s get to the interview process. And then contend that there won’t be a couple black balls in their future.

    That’s the actual number of transgender people you are looking at.

    Compared to the number of active freemasons that will not accept the new rules of UGLE?

    Insignificant.




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  16. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    Does the GAOTU consider that gender is the most important categorization for humans?

    Could the GAOTU have other categories such as uprightness or openness of heart or radiation of Light?
     
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  17. darsehole

    darsehole Registered User

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    If we are created in HIS image, through intelligent design, then by altering ones “sexual orientation”, are we not defacing HIS creation, or even image?

    One could also debate that they are making unto themselves a graven image, from a Judo-Christian point of view.

    Ultimately, (in my opinion),the individual brother must refer to their own VSL, which is the written word of GAOTU, as simple Masons can not fathom the will of the Almighty without guidance.

    With the exception of “the book of the law”, which is the VSL of Thelma, I cannot think of any VSL that would speak well of Transgender individuals.

    If there are other opinions, I would be open to discussing them.


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  18. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    I think James was being rhetorical.
    Really there are many people we can discount and use religion as a justification but really it’s 2018- ain’t nobody got time for that
     
  19. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I don't think this is about expanding membership, it is about fairness and acting fraternally (oh the irony of using that word).

    While we can say not my circus and not my monkeys (it was quoted at me yesterday and love it) we have had comments here on discrimination based on skin and sexuality in jurisdictions outside our own. Some see these as veneers, some as intrinsic, and also extend that to gender.

    I am still thinking about it,but very much in the abstract. I am a big believer my organisation remaining a fraternity, and probably do not worry much about a trans man entering my lodge. For all I know they might be there now. I think the absence of sexual politics (not sure that is the right phrase - but I am thinking of tensions around couples and sexual attraction) is one of our strengths and while we have some gay men, I've never been in a lodge where they were the majority and never experiences tension of couples or thwarted sexual attraction in my lodges... On reading what I just wrote "sexual attraction" seems silly, because society generally deals with that well in my workplaces, but lodge is not a work space and does offer a truly unique male space. If I petitioner presented as male and was legally a male, I dont think I would have issues around that person, as long as they did not bring psychological baggage with them which they displayed at every moment. If a brother became a female, and esp if in my social circle, I might still be comfortable sitting in lodge with them (but don't really know). If a lodge member of mine was in difficulty which was not around abhorrent or illegal activity, I would think it is my masonic duty to support them, even if that was them becoming a woman. If that also saw them wanting to remain in lodge, I suspect that I would feel caught and have not choice to support them, even before I examined if I would make such a choice after consideration, however I suspect that an experienced Freemason would withdraw from the Craft if they became a woman, but perhaps not....

    One thing I do know in this debate which is often lost, because we are an all male organisation, many people mistake that for misogyny, and if there is one thing we all know, you cannot be a good Freemason and a misogynist for misogyny is damaging and immoral.

    Another interesting thing to note, what UGLE issues (smartly) was a guideline and not an edit, it is how it wants its members to act, esp noted in Section 6 which does state some rules.

    If "Transgendered people make up, at maximum estimate, 0.6% of the population." and that statistic includes reassigning to either gender, statistically we are dealing with a very small number of potential cases so as not to give this my attention until someone, and it will be one, is treated badly, or it happens in a sphere I need to address in one of my masonic capacities.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  20. darsehole

    darsehole Registered User

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    If this matter is truly about fairness and acting fraternally, then how many brothers benefit from this ruling, and how many will feel left out. Indeed, how many will protest, how many will remove themselves from lodge, and how many will demit?

    If the number of brothers that feel displaced by this ruling out number the number of brothers that benefit from it by one, then it is not fair. And it was was not carried out fraternally.

    I state again, the consequences of this action will far out weigh any benefit from it.

    Look at the resent discord between the GL of Tennessee, the GL of Georgia, and the number of Lodges that disagreed with their stance on homosexuality.

    We are a fraternity. But we are a fraternity with a belief in a Supreme Being. The VOSL rests on every alter.

    And what does the VOSL state about gender variance?

    If we ignore the written word of the GAOTU, then what good is our obligation? And without a obligation, what does our fraternity stand on?


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