We really do need a Trangender policy
It cannot have escaped your notice that over the years society has undergone many changes with regard to the law on human sexuality, and those changes have led to the social inclusion of groups which hitherto had suffered discrimination, hostility and in some cases social ostracisation. For some people such changes may have proved challenging to accept, but as law abiding citizens we have acknowledged that changes enshrined in law must be obeyed.
As many of you will know the United Government has recently enacted legislation which offers protection from discrimination to those members of society who wish to be identified differently from their birth sex. This is commonly referred to as Gender Transition or Gender Reassignment.
The United Grand Lodge of England has taken specific legal advice and given serious consideration as to how the law on Transgender rights might affect Freemasonry in general and Lodges in particular. Having assessed the law they have issued a UGLE Gender Reassignment Policy document which is attached to this email. The Provincial Grand Master and the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent commend the policy to you.
The simple fact is that the law of the country in which we live prescribes how individual citizens must be treated in respect of their place and standing in society. The transgender community, irrespective of an individual’s personal opinion, have also been assigned specific protective rights under legislation introduced and approved by Parliament.
The right ‘not to be discriminated against’ is a right given to others, and as such UGLE and Supreme Grand Chapter have sensibly outlined what the legal situation is regarding the fair and proper treatment which should be applied if and when a Brother advises they have ‘transitioned’.
It is clearly an issue which needs to be addressed, discussed and generally faced up to. It certainly is not ‘going away’ and to hope it might or think it will is wishful thinking and hopelessly at odds with reality.
The Province has sought clarity on some issues and has addressed questions in relation to the subject. Having been satisfied on those matters the Provincial Grand Master and the Grand Superintendent have jointly agreed to submit the UGLE policy document together with a short paper which will answer some of the most frequently asked questions on the matter. You can view these by following the links indicated.
Should you have any other questions please feel free to refer them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org They will be answered as quickly and as comprehensively as possible.