The Grand Master of Texas has issued a decision on gender identity and who can petition for the degrees of freemasonry within the jurisdiction.
Most Worshipful G. Clay Smithws asked the question Do the Constitution and Laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas allow biological women whose
gender identity or gender expression is now male to become Masons?”
Brother Smith answered the question with the following statement.
“The answer in each case is no. While the Constitution and the Laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas are silent with regard to the question posed, Anderson’s “Old Charges of a Freemason” (1722), the binding authority in such cases under Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution, requires such a result.
Article III of the Old Charges states that “The persons admitted members of a Lodge must be good and true men, freeborn, and of a mature and discreet age; no bondmen, no woman, no immoral or scandalous men, but of good report.” The Old Charges form an integral part of our more than one hundred-year-old Constitution. The “system of ancient laws and customs of the Craft” which they contain are timeless and universally adhered to in all Grand Lodges throughout the world with which this Grand Lodge is in fraternal relations. As such, The Old Charges must be understood in the context of the time in which they were written and at the time they were incorporated into our Constitution of 1920, not given new meaning based on current attitudes and practices among some concerning gender or other matters. Anyone who desires to become a Mason, and any Mason who wishes to remain in our fraternity, must be a man, as Dr. Anderson understood men to be in 1722 and as our Texas forebearers understood them to be at the time of the adoption of our current Constitution.”
The Grand Master then made the decision:
- A biological woman (meaning an individual who was assigned female at birth) cannot be a Mason.
- A transgender man (meaning an individual who was assigned female at birth whose gender identity or gender expression is now male) cannot be a Mason.
- A transgender woman (meaning an individual who was assigned male at birth whose gender identity or gender expression is now female) cannot be made a Mason nor remain a Mason.
In conclusion, The grand Master added
“It is important to understand that this decision does not constitute a judgment of this Grand Lodge, moral or otherwise, on the issues of gender identity, gender expression or transgender issues. As in the case of spiritual and political matters, every Mason is free to form a private opinion on the subject. The Grand Lodge of Texas is forever committed to individual freedom of conscience and personal liberty in every lawful pursuit. However, not every such pursuit qualifies an individual to become or remain a Mason.”
The Grand Master’s decision can be downloaded Here