Sunday, October 15, 2006

Seattle Masonic lodge openly accepts gay members

While Masons here in the South continue to bitch and moan about who is or is not a racist, or about whether black Masons should be accepted as Masonic brothers, the rest of the Masonic world, more or less, seems to have figured this brotherly love thing out and has stopped hating people who might be different. I mean, that's the whole point of Masonry, isn't it? Truth, Relief and Brotherly Love....

At the opposite corner of the country, up in the state of Washington, there is a Masonic lodge that accepts — even openly invites — gay men as Freemasons.

Daylight Lodge No. 232, which calls itself Seattle's Masonic Lodge of the Arts, is not a gay lodge, but rather, a lodge with gays.

From Daylight Lodge's website:
What is the Masonic policy on gay members?

There is nothing in the so-called Ancient Landmarks of Masonry that would forbid a gay man from joining. Of course there are gay men in Masonry. It is a simple thing, sexual orientation is not a determinate for admission, it is not even asked and that is a Masonic standard. The Washington Mason Code does not address the issue because each petitioner is judged by the lodge and its members.

Since membership is voted on by the members of the lodge, a situation of exclusivity could exist, as with any organization. For instance a lodge could be made up entirely of Spanish speaking people, at which a non-Spanish speaking person may not feel comfortable. Similarly, when a gay man is selecting a lodge to petition for membership, the make-up of that lodge should be considered. It is conceivable that the majority of members of a lodge could have a problem with someone being gay and thus prevent membership from being attained. That is certainly not the case at Daylight Lodge #232.

Because Daylight Lodge has since its inception been involved with the arts, it is a logical assumption that there have been and are gay members, but for the same reason it is not an issue that is even considered important. All that Daylight Lodge asks of a member is that be loyal to the lodge and Masonry. Also that he obey the laws of his city, state and country and there is no law against being gay. Masonry does not discuss religion and that is the source of most of the objections to the gay life style.

So, yes! Gay men can join Masonry and be accepted as a brother; just be conscientious of the lodge you are petitioning. The members of the lodge do vote in secret on petitions for membership and it is possible that a member may cast a negative vote. At Daylight Lodge #232, however, being gay will never prevent you from being accepted and loved like a brother.
Daylight Lodge No. 232 is also unusual in that it elects its officers for two-year terms, giving officers enough time in each station to actually enact and carry out a concerted plan of action. A moving force in the changes for the better in Daylight Lodge for the past several years has been Anthony Monaco [pictured], who is now serving as the lodge's Worshipful Master. Almost all of the officers of Daylight Lodge are in their 20s and 30s.

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  1. we gave an ea degree to a gay gentlemen that had the whole district claiming every one of the young guys were gay...

    i love how judgemental masons can be....tolerant

  2. I'm glad to hear this. In Oregon, I would like to think we would readily admit gay men who are well qualified into the Lodge as well.

    Tolerance is a Masonic virtue.

  3. *shrugs*

    Personally, I'd never even think to wonder about someone's sexuality, at least, not with regard to his potential to be a good lodge brother.

    You know, even the older guys in our lodge ("older" being defined, of course, as anything older than me) surprised me during arecent discussion on some gay rights legislation in Conn recently. They said that it didn't make any difference to them if the state passed a law about civil unions.

    I had expected a more conservative reaction, and was pleasantly surprised to see that for the most part, they thought it was nobody's damn business.

    I know that some of our younger guys have some alternative relationships, but I've never heard anyone badmouth them. For the most part, that kind of thing is a non-issue in Friendship Lodge.

    The Tao of Masonry

  4. Once again, the difference between Connecticut Masons and many Georgia Masons is too, too apparant.

    A brother here once told me that if he'd known a newly raised brother was "living in sin" (with a woman, unmarried) he'd have blackballed him.

    Odd... this was one of the same brothers who caused such a stink when I publicized the fact we had child molester within our lodge, saying that by "airing dirty linen" I was hurting the molester's father, a PM and longtime Mason.

    — W.S.

  5. Living in sin? I wasn't aware that Masonry had a concept of sin.

  6. Haven't you heard? In the South, Freemasonry (and everything else) takes a backseat to Jay-Suzz and the Baptist Church's judgement of what is and what is not a sin.

    — W.S.

  7. I don't wnat to give the impression that Connecticut is the land of milk'n'honey. I'm sure that we have members up Nawth that would not approve of gay brothers. In fact, I happen to know this is true because I am familiar with the circumstances arising when a young gay man petitioned a certain lodge and one brother, for religious reasons (he claimed) was against it.

    Interestingly, this was not some 90 year old PM, but a member not much older than the petitioner. Go figure, huh? Fortunately the situation was resolved well for everyone, but not without some tense moments.

    But I have been surprised at the amount of tolerance for "diversity" shown by many of my brethren, especially by the older, more conservative guys - which apparently speaks to my own preconceptions, doesn't it?

    There is a section in the FC degree which reads something like: "The internal, and not the external qualifications are what Freemasonry regards." Too bad some of us forget those little lessons and lectures when we're not in the middle of a degree.

    The Tao of Masonry

  8. Just to stir the pot alittle, I happen to be in this Lodge and For one it does not matter to me if you have relations with another man. The only thing that I ask is that you try and not to force your views or way of life upon me. I am a serving officer JS in the lodge and this is interesting to me that this is an issue everywhere but in the lodge room. We embrace each other as brothers and not as perspective lovers.

    If there are some brothers out there who have a problem with haveing a gay brother in his lodge room, How is he doing his part for bettering Masonry?

    Does it really matter what someone does outside the lodge hall as long as he is not endagering himself or someone else, He is not breaking any Laws of the land. Who are we to judge what a man should do with his time and life. As far as admitting women into the lodge... That goes directly against the oath that all of us have takin as a mason.

    Just my 2 cent.

    Dathean Luna
    Daylight lodge #232

  9. I became a MM back in 1980. Shortly after I found out that men of color had their own lodges, PH, and were not accepted in the lodge that I had joined. I questioned weather I had joined the right organization. I knew that I was gay and was sure that if my "brothers" found out I'd be out on my ear. In 1982 my work took me away from the city where I had been living, and the distance was too far to attend meetings. I stoped paying dues and was suspended. Three years ago I had myself restored to good Masonic standing. I didn't start looking for a new lodge until this past March. I found one that I liked in Philadelphia PA. I spoke to the WM and the secretary and submitted a petition for affiliation. I had not mentioned my orientation because I was sure someone from the lodge would visit me in my home before I was voted on at a meeting. This never happened and in September I was accepted into one of the most historic lodges in Philadelphia. This lodge meets in the Masonic Temple of the Grand Lodge of PA. Two weeks ago I attended my first lodge meeting in over 26 years. It was a very emotional experience for me and I also turned 62 on the same day as the meeting. I was welcomed warmly into the Lodge and had a wonderful evening. The next day started to feel bad because I wasn't out to anyone in my new lodge. This week we had an extra meeting fot the conferring of degrees. As I sat and listened to the oaths that I took so many years ago I knew what I had to do. When the Lodge was closed I approached the WM and asked if I could have a few moments of his time. He could tell I was concerned about something and asked what was going on. I told him about my worry that my being a member might upset the harmony of the lodge. He asked why I would think that, so I just said "I'm gay". Without the blink of an eye he said "Why do you think that would be a problem? It's not a problem for me and it won't be a problem for the active brothers of this lodge". This was the most welcomed I have ever felt, anywhere, in my entire life. Now I just hope that the GAOTU will grant me a few more years to spend with my new Brothers.

  10. Harbour Boi, thank you for the wonderful little story. I'm glad for you.

    This subject came up some years back and one member surprisingly remarked "What if he wears a dress to Lodge?" The answer: "Ask him to sing Believe." ;)

    But most Masons I know don't care, and the young guys certainly don't. Living in a large city, they probably all know someone who's gay at work or school or in their circle of friends, so it's no big deal.


  11. To anyone that can help. Below is my attmepted email to the WM at Lodge 232 in Seattle.

    Dear Worshipful,
    I start with my plea: Please help make me a Master Mason.

    I would gladly beg for your help in the open lodge upon my knees
    at the alter before God and the brothers of your lodge.

    I have been the victim of discrimination yet once again. Previously it was by the United States Navy and again later by a lady who interviewed me for a job as a Medical Technician in the prison system of California and now by the lodge of which I was a member here in Lafayette, LA (Exemplar Lodge). Of course this does not include the other minor incidences of discrimination throughout my life.

    I was searching for websites relating to gays in Masonry.
    This past year I petitioned to be a Mason, was accepted and
    I got all of the way to the very night I was supposed to go through
    the Master Mason ceremony and was contacted by the WM of the lodge and told that someone brought up a concern and that it would have to be investigated. This happened just last month.
    Through the actions of a Mason in another
    state that is a near relative to me, I found out that I was kicked
    out because someone thought I was gay or had gay mannerisms or
    something to that affect. This was extremely saddening to learn
    since I had put so much work in to reach that degree along with a
    couple of new friends who were in the Navy at the same time I was and
    over in the Persian Gulf War at the same time I was. Just at the last
    minute, the lodge just up and pulled the rug out from under me and my
    check for the dues, etc. was returned to me. An explanation was going
    to be given to me by the WM prior to this and we were going to arrange
    a meeting but then I received the check and no further communication
    from the WM nor from the Secretary or anyone else in the lodge other
    than a letter that stated my petition was rejected and that I could petition again in 6 months. That's just a bunch of crap. I was already
    a F.C. Mason! As a side note, Louisiana is very predjudiced and we were even told that even though the Grand Lodge and other state's lodges accept blacks that they didn't have to. They could do what they want. In a later conversation over dinner I heard them talking about the first black that accidentally got into the Masons here in Louisiana. It was only because
    someone heard him pronounce a city name differently that they realized he is black. Actually, the guy is of mixed races and I guess appears to be caucasion for the most part. So anyways....I'm trying to find a solution to this problem. I don't think it was fair that I got kicked out at the last minute when getting ready to become a Master Mason and I would very much like to get into a lodge somewhere, anywhere.

    You just can not imagine how this makes me feel. Even the Masonic Brother who was from out of state and supporting my petition and membership was very upset about this turn of events and felt that it was very unmasonic. He apologized over and over for it having happened and stated that it shouldn't have happened. He said other Masons in the lodge were trying to support me but yet it wasn't enough I guess. I know I am a good person. I am a preacher's kid, God fearing and I go to church. I'm a former Cub Scout. I'm a Navy War Veteran and President of Class #06 of the Laredo, TX Citizen's Police Academy. I also have been a member of the American Legion and VFW. I am oftentimes giving to charity and helping out others. I work in the medical field. I find myself to be a good person and others do as well. So, anyways, that's just a short note about me.

    (name omitted from this public forum)

  12. Am I one of the ones in the South "bitching and moaning"? Nice to know our issues are taken so seriously; thanks as usual for the poor PR rebuttal and half-cocked effort at cleaning up your mess, Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction.

    James Robert Wright, Former Special Assistant to the Secretary General, Valley of Dallas, exiled from Appointment on the employ of the Supreme Council because they "cannot have faggots running the place". Issue a mandate that spills down over all Lodges, or shut up. This is not good enough, frankly.

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