The mysterious group the Freemasons are known mostly for secret handshakes and undisclosed rituals. It's a fraternity that is estimated to include over 6 million members worldwide and includes former Presidents, political power wielders, and global elites. With few exceptions, membership has been reserved for men only.
That is a stance which will now change according to a BBC Report. A document recently released to their 7,000 lodges clearly announces a new Freemason gender reassignment policy: The English Freemasons will now accept both transgender men and women.
Previously, those who identified as women could not join The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), though there are two female only lodges in operation - the Order of Women Freemasons (OWF) and the Honorable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (HFAF) which represent about 4,700 female members in the UK.
Freemasons, including the two female lodges, refer to members as "brothers". Now, irrespective of gender identity, UGLE's 200,000 members will still formally be referred to as "brothers". The United Grand Lodge of England issued the policy to proactively address the issue as "questions on the subject are likely to become increasingly common in future, and now appears to be an opportune time to issue general guidance to our members."
The Lodge believes that expelling those who choose to transition to another sex would fall under “unlawful discrimination”. They further urge that a Freemason's gender reassignment should be "treated with the utmost compassion and sensitivity". The lodge added clarification to their policy by saying that transgender women should be allowed to remain Freemasons if they joined as men, and women who transition to become men should also be allowed to join. Members should be addressed "by the name and title he/she has chosen".
"If a Freemason who is a member of UGLE wishes to change gender and become a woman, we expect that the Freemason would receive the full support of their brethren." The document states that it does not "impose binding rules" and "does not constitute legal advice" but adds: "A Freemason who after initiation ceases to be a man does not cease to be a Freemason."
"We expect that Freemasons will act with compassion and sensitivity towards their fellow Freemasons."
Many people reacted on Twitter, calling the policy discriminatory since it still excludes those who identify as women. What are your thoughts? Should the Freemasons accept transgenders into its ranks? Is this more proof that the Freemasons are working to further the Illuminati Agenda?