Freemasons settle for transgender girls who joined as males (News)

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United Grand Lodge of England

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United Grand Lodge of England

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There are greater than 200,000 Freemasons in England and Wales below the United Grand Lodge of England

Transgender girls must be allowed to stay Freemasons in the event that they joined as males, the biggest UK lodge has stated.

Expelling masons for transitioning was “illegal discrimination”, the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) warned.

Ladies who transition to change into males must also be allowed to hitch, its new gender reassignment coverage states.

The steering doc says {that a} Freemason’s gender reassignment must be “handled with the utmost compassion and sensitivity”.

No matter gender identification, the UGLE’s 200,000 members will nonetheless formally be known as “brothers”, the doc says.

However informally they need to be addressed “by the title and title he/she has chosen”.

It warns that utilizing a mason’s transition as a purpose for excluding them from a men-only lodge could be “illegal discrimination and so might by no means represent ample trigger”.

The doc issued to 7,000 lodges throughout the nation, says: “If a Freemason who’s a member of UGLE needs to vary gender and change into a girl, we anticipate that the Freemason would obtain the complete assist of their brethren.”

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Media captionThe top of the Freemasons in England and Wales says he cannot present the BBC the handshake.

Freemasonry, identified in standard tradition for arcane rituals and secret handshakes, raises thousands and thousands of kilos for charity and has some six million members worldwide.

Well-known Freemasons have included Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and Oscar Wilde.

Every lodge holds 4 official conferences a yr to welcome new members, and the ceremonies’ contents have at all times been a closely-guarded secret.

Who’s in?

These now eligible to change into a member of a male-only lodge embody:

  • Males
  • A Freemason who joined as a person, however later underwent gender reassignment to change into a girl
  • A lady who underwent reassignment to change into a person earlier than making use of to change into a Freemason

Whereas girls can not be part of the UGLE, there are two female-only lodges, the Order of Ladies Freemasons (OWF) and the Honourable Fraternity of Historic Freemasons (HFAF), which additionally check with members as “brothers”.

There are about 4,700 feminine Freemasons within the UK.

The doc says that it doesn’t “impose binding guidelines” and “doesn’t represent authorized recommendation”.

Nevertheless it provides: “A Freemason who after initiation ceases to be a person doesn’t stop to be a Freemason.

“We anticipate that Freemasons will act with compassion and sensitivity in the direction of their fellow Freemasons.”

  • The key ceremonies and rituals of feminine Freemasons
  • Freemasons clarify the rituals and advantages of membership

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The United Grand Lodge of England stated it needed members to behave with ‘compassion and sensitivity’ in the direction of transgender masons

A spokesman for the UGLE stated: “Whereas there was no common request for steering on gender reassignment, questions on the topic are prone to change into more and more widespread in future, and now seems to be an opportune time to concern common steering to our members.”

In January the UGLE rejected a declare from the top of the Police Federation that Freemasons had been blocking reforms and stopping girls and minority teams from progressing

David Staples, the lodge’s chief government, stated the suggestion was “laughable” and insisted Freemasons had a historical past of treating individuals “as equals”.

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