Friday, March 24, 2023

‘Texas grand master opines on “trans” membership question’

The grand master of the Grand Lodge of Texas today published his opinion on the legality of transgender people holding membership in Texas lodges—and his unequivocal ruling is no.

G. Clay Smith
MW Clay Smith had been asked for his legal judgment on whether female-to-male transgender people could be Freemasons in Texas. Smith replied with a comprehensive no on initiating females, transgender men, and transgender women, as well as permitting Masons who have become transgender women to continue holding membership.

Read all about it here.

Wearing my Grumpy Past Master top hat, I’m harrumphing over the grand master’s misuse of the term Old Charges. He makes clear he is invoking Anderson’s Constitutions, which summarize Old Charges, but he is confusing a fine point of Masonic jurisprudence and history. And he’s wrong about 1722. (I can’t help it. I’m an editor.)

From Decision No. 1 issued today.

Other than that—not that this matters—I support his ruling here. I don’t know anything about Texas Masonic law, so I don’t know if this decision bears the authority of an edict or what, but a quick internet search reveals how public law and public policy in the Republic of Texas have been evolving to address this new phenomenon’s many facets.

The Magpie Mason had a feeling something of this nature was percolating there lately. I posted news of the United Grand Lodge of England deciding the other way on this question in 2018, and that obscure edition of The Magpie Mason started receiving an inordinate number of hits this year from Texas.

h/t to W. Bill Hosler on Faceypage.

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