This policy sets out The Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons’ (HFAF) approach to the issues raised for Freemasonry by gender reassignment. It is intended to help guide Lodges in their decision making. It does not impose binding rules and although it gives some general guidance on discrimination law it does not constitute legal advice.
This policy does not attempt to address all the issues relating to gender which may arise as gender reassignment and gender transition become more prevalent in a changing society and when they do they will need to be addressed in accordance with Masonic principles of lawfulness, kindness and tolerance.
It is important that any situation involving gender reassignment of a Freemason should be treated with the utmost compassion and sensitivity and that the individual should be supported throughout the process.
If a Freemason who is a member of HFAF wishes to change gender and become a man we expect that the Freemason would receive the full support of their brethren. The privacy of the individual should be respected and there will normally be no requirement to inform the applicable Provincial Grand Secretary or the Grand Secretary about this change.
A candidate for admission to Freemasonry under the jurisdiction of HFAF must be a woman. Should a person who has undergone gender reassignment and become a woman apply to become a Freemason then her application must be processed in the same way as for any other female candidate.
Any qualified candidate for admission may be proposed for membership of a private Lodge in accordance with the provisions in the Rules contained in the Book of Constitutions. No candidate should be subjected to questions about their gender which could make them feel uncomfortable.
A Freemason who after initiation ceases to be a woman does not cease to be a Freemason.
We expect that Freemasons will at all times, act with compassion and sensitivity towards their fellow Freemasons.
We hope that no Freemason would engage in unwanted conduct relating to another Freemason’s actual or perceived gender reassignment or gender transition. Such conduct would not only be unmasonic but is also unlawful if it has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of or creating an intimidating hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the victim.
A Freemason who becomes a man is not required to resign from HFAF.
Where a Freemason has resigned from her Lodge and from HFAF and then reassigned her gender to male, they would then only have the option to apply to join a Lodge in the men’s Order. They would not be eligible to rejoin HFAF.
If a person resigns from the Craft they might no longer be eligible for some or all of the benefits provided by HFAF
HFAF does not accept applications for initiation from those who have not resigned from UGLE nor will UGLE accept similar applications from those who have not resigned from HFAF as one cannot be a member of both Orders at the same time.
A Lodge may vote to exclude any member for sufficient cause. The following grounds would constitute unlawful discrimination and could never constitute sufficient cause:
Similarly a Lodge must not attempt to persuade a member to resign from the Lodge or discriminate against a member based upon any of these grounds. A Lodge must not at any time require a member to prove that they are legally a woman.
The law and what is considered best practice in this area is developing rapidly. This policy may be amended from time to time therefore it will be necessary to ensure you are referring to the latest version at any time
Date adopted: 8 August 2018
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