Freemasonry has a rich history and has played a significant role in shaping society. It is recognized for its commitment to self-improvement, community organization, and the moral development of its members. However, to remain relevant in our ever-evolving world, it must address the issue of discrimination within its ranks.
Freemasonry has traditionally been described as a fraternity or club, a society of friends and brothers, or an initiatic society. It is a system that aims to improve society by shaping individuals through moral lessons on integrity, charity, intellectual improvement, equality, and upright conduct.
Despite these noble aims, there are unfortunate inconsistencies in the practice of equality and inclusivity within Anglo-American Freemasonry. This organization has historically excluded women, non-binary individuals, gay men, transgender people, and those who identify as atheists or agnostics. This discrimination not only goes against the very principles Freemasonry claims to uphold but also limits its potential impact on society.
Stop Masonic Discrimination is an initiative that seeks to modernize Freemasonry, ensuring that it continues to serve an essential social function for generations to come. We believe that Freemasonry should be open to all individuals, regardless of their sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs (or lack thereof). By embracing diversity and inclusivity, Freemasonry can become a stronger, more vibrant community that truly embodies its core values.
We are not advocating for the dissolution of traditional Masonic organizations or the complete overhaul of Masonic practices. Instead, we call for the recognition and acceptance of diverse Masonic bodies that adhere to Masonic principles but currently face discrimination. We believe that by working together, we can create a more inclusive, unified, and effective Freemasonry that benefits everyone.
Join us in our efforts to end discrimination within Freemasonry and ensure that this historic institution continues to thrive, evolve, and serve its purpose in the modern world.
Freemasonry is many things to many people.
At times it has been described as a fraternity or club, a society of friends and Brothers, or an initiatic society. At others, less charitably, as a secret society, a conspiracy, or a cult. Freemasonry says of itself that it is simply, “a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols,” whose aim is simply to improve society by shaping individuals. Freemasons say of ourselves, “we take good people and make them better.”
Freemasonry improves individuals through its rituals, by which it imparts upon the traveling man, or woman, moral lessons: integrity, charity, intellectual improvement, equality, and upright conduct.
Despite teaching equality, however, this is tragically far too often of a limited kind, reserved only for Master Masons. Anglo-American Freemasonry admits women only as members of the auxiliary attached to the Lodge, never as full members. The Anglo-American system of Grand Lodges does not recognize even Co-Freemasonry, gender-neutral, or same-sex women-only Freemasonry as legitimate practices. Many jurisdictions bar gay men and trans people of any sex or gender identity from joining, discrimination which tends to be protected under, “religious considerations.”
Under no circumstances are atheists or agnostics allowed to join. Despite its outward rhetoric that it is not a religion, Anglo-American Freemasonry demands adherence to religious dogma. Members must profess a positive faith in God and belief in the immortality of the soul. Despite teaching intellectual improvement, Anglo-American Freemasonry maintains superstition over observation and scientific reasoning.
Despite teaching upright conduct, many Anglo-American Freemasons actively discriminate, and all take part in a system of organizations that discriminate.
In short, Anglo-American Freemasonry is a system of self-improvement and community organization with generally positive and useful ideals, but one that has failed to maintain its relevance in, dare we say, an evolving world. It’s got good bones, but it needs work in order to continue to serve its purpose.
Stop Masonic Discrimination does not exist to destroy Freemasonry. On the contrary: we have organized only to ensure that Freemasonry continues to be able to serve an important social function for a long time to come. We are not calling for every Masonic organization to become co-Masonic or gender-neutral, or to allow into our ranks the irreligious. We believe civil rights advances may be accomplished purely by recognition as regular Masonic bodies that adhere to Masonic practice currently regarded as “irregular” but not “clandestine.” We believe every person, regardless of their sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion, or lack thereof, can benefit from the practices of Freemasonry. Whether you are or are not a Freemason, you can help us to improve our Craft by taking action to end discrimination in Freemasonry.