Kentucky Masons Reject Proposal Barring Gay Men

The leader of a Masonic lodge in Kentucky, whose recent coming out made him the target of anti-gay slurs and a lodge walk-out, is hailing a vote on Monday by the Kentucky Masons, which rejected a proposal to bar gay men from the organization.

The Herald-Leader reports: Wright

"When the leader of a Winchester Masonic lodge recently told members he was gay, he said one man called him "a flaming faggot," insisted that he resign, and led several members in a walkout. But John Wright refused to resign. Later, he stood firm when a Frankfort lodge proposed a change to the group's state constitution that would have prohibited openly gay men from being Masons in Kentucky. At an annual statewide meeting in Louisville Monday, attendees turned down the proposal…The Masons are a worldwide fraternity of men who believe in God and work to help people through their charities, according to the Web site of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. In Kentucky, they support homes for the elderly, a rehabilitation hospital for disabled children and other causes. There are 408 chapters in the state with more than 54,000 members. The Masons, according to the Web site, teach that a person has a responsibility to make things better in the world. Each state has a Grand Lodge that is the administrative body in charge of the Masons."

Wright called the vote a "critical moment" in the organization's history, saying, "They said with a strong voice that they are not going to discriminate. I do think that there are a large number of them of a newer mind-set that they can put these differences behind them and work toward the goals that the fraternity has. They can become better men and make our communities better places."


  1. Christopher says

    I love the way the Masons are either a shadowy elite org that secretly plans our eventual one-world government, or your grandfather’s excuse to dress up in a sash and play dungeons and dragons with the local dry cleaner.

  2. Rob says

    Isn’t it interesting (and so typical) that the moment Masonic lodge leader John Wright publicly proclaimed his sexual orientation that one of his Masonic brothers thought it permissable to categorize him as “a flaming faggot”? Was Mr. Wright just on “low flame” until he announced his gayness and thus not able to be so identified? Was it the fact that Mr. Wright “said the words aloud” that gave the lodge’s member some kind of permission to become a name-caller?? Was Mr. Wright suddenly such a terrible lodge leader — after knowing just one more personal thing about him — that several members called for his resignation (which he thankfully declined) and led to a walkout???

    I do find it amazing that the Masons’ statewide meeting attendees declined to prohibit openly gay men from becoming Masons. I fear this would not have happened during the time my grandfather was a Mason. It’s refreshing that even in conservative Kentucky this kind of gay discrimination can be voted down.

  3. mstrozfckslv says

    “…who believe in God…”

    Not exactly. Masons believe in “G” the great architect and allow any member of one of the three monotheist religions to join whether jew, xtian, or muslim

    The Masonic definition of god is more a deist version.

    Christopher ……..the Masons have always been about good works for the betterment of society, though those works in the past took a more radical political bent in overturning monarchies and papal control and freeing humanity from mental shackles and liberating the brotherhood of humanity to travel a more enlightened/ democratic path

    One of the greatest thinkers/writers of the masons in the 1800’s stated that the god of the bible was evil, against reason/rationality, and against humanity.

    That all said, the great secret of the masons and all branch off orders (order of the eastern star etc) is that the masons forgot the secret

    A huge chunk of the founding fathers of america were masons and every president gets officially accepted into the masonic order. Many of those involved with the french revolution (overthrow of monarchy and papal control) were masons.

    The masons of today are not the masons of yesterday. They are more interested in making biz connections and ceremony as vs their past radical push of humanity into an enlightened era

  4. Frank says

    Unfortunately, WM Wright is incorrect when he says that the Masons have decided they are “not going to discriminate”. As a Senior DeMolay, I can attest firsthand that southern Masons still do not permit African-Americans in any of their organizations – DeMolay, Rainbow, Eastern Star, etc.

  5. clint says

    Thank you, Brother Wright, for coming out, and thank you to all the Brethren of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky for making sexual orientation officially a non-issue for your jurisdiction. The Brothers who acted in such an insulting and uncharitable manner toward W:. Br. Wright should be under Masonic discipline, esp. for acting in such a manner towards a duly elected and installed Worshipful Master. It was conduct unbecoming of a Mason and should be recognized as such.

    I’m very happy to see that finally a “masculine” Grand Lodge Masonic Obedience made a socially progessive decision for the first time in decades, if not centuries LOL.

  6. John Wright says

    Thank you all for your positive comments. I had no intention of coming out in the manner that I did, especially in open lodge. When the Brother (who happened to be my Senior Steward) demanded my resignation, and called me a “flaming faggot” infront of about 30 men, 2 younger Masons stood and asked me to confirm the rumors. Not wanting to lie to them, I did confirm. They, two, walked out with the other 10 members, but 20 or so remained.

    When I gave my speech on Monday to the 350 or so delegates (800 people total were present, including visitors), 5 others stood and spoke in support of trashing this amendment and more than 10 spoke in favor of the ban. After the vote was taken and the results announced, there were many boo’s and like sounds from the crowd. Several delegates came up to me and shook my hand, congratulating me for doing what was right.

    To Frank, the Masons of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky have said that they won’t discriminate based on their vote. Remember that the other organizations you listed (DeMolay, Rainbow, Eastern Star, etc.) are separate from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. They have their own leadership, their own rules, etc. It would take many people to stand up and voice their displeasure before changes can be made everywhere. If we are to be the catalysts of change, we must stand together and make change happen.

    Lastly, Clint, thank you so much for your kind words Brother. It was my intention to file charges against my Senior Steward for violating multiple sections of our Grand Constitution but I was told that the charges were light and would likely be dismissed as “frivolous.”

  7. BobN says

    Ya gotta wonder how bright someone is when they suddenly start calling someone a “flaming faggot”. I mean, did they not notice the flaming before? (This assumes that there was flaming, of course.) Or did he attribute the “flaming” to a real devotion to Mason ritual?


  8. Jack H says

    Two comments:

    There is a branch of Masonry that does not require belief in a deity. There are only a few lodges in the US; it’s more common in Europe.

    My father was a Mason (in Lexington, Kentucky), and another ancestor founded a now-defunct lodge elsewhere in Kentucky. I’m glad to hear that you came out and that the Grand Lodge made the right decision.

  9. John Wright says

    Jack H: You’re right, however such organizations like that are considered “clandestine” and “irregular” meaning Masons from lodges belonging to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky or any other state in the US, plus the majority of all lodges chartered by (or claiming lineage to the United Grand Lodge of England [which was the first Grand Lodge in the world]) cannot attend their meetings or belong to their order.

    One belief that all Grand Lodges agree on (there are several called “Landmarks”) is that a man must believe in a Supreme Being before he can be a Mason. Masons do not recommend or endorse any particular faith, that is left up to the individual Mason. But to be a regular Mason, you must profess a belief in a Supreme Being.

    I just so happens that in Kentucky, the majority of members are Christians and there were quite a few people who were embarrassed in front of 800+ when they referred to Masonry as a Christian organization. It certainly is not.

    I just hope that the Grand Lodge and the newly elected & appointed Officers for 2010-11 continue to stand by me and also stand for what is right. I won’t be bullied, and I won’t stand idly by while someone else is either.

  10. clifton goins says

    i HAVE BEEN A MASON FOR 3O YEARS ALWAYS PAID MY DUES ECTK.I took my oath on The Holy Bible,therefore i cannot condone homosexuality,I willnot pay any dues or have any contact with the order until the proposal of the Frankfort lodge is ratified;please change the constitution do not go along with political correction .

  11. says

    Let’s clear up a few facts…

    1. This man was suspended indefinitely by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. Correct me if I am wrong.

    2. Grand Lodge’s do not need a code revision to exclude homosexuals as the code already has a morality rule, and no one is seeking to waste money on frivolous civil litigation against a fashionable lifestyle movement.

    3. Christianity is not the faith of Masonry, nor does Christianity have ownership of the word God or it’s definition. In fact, God in Christianity is named Adonai which translated to original hebrew means ‘My Lords’. notice the plural?

    Fact: Masonry is not a religion, nor does it teach religion. Religious text(s) are used for educational purposes rather than religious purposes. Full Stop –

    4. Masonry does not condone tyranny in any form. As such, no freemason is MANDATED to accept homosexuals or homosexuality no matter how many voices scream intolerance.

    5. No one asked, nor forced this man to expose himself as a homosexual. Nor did they force or ask him to divorce his wife. Not one freemason forced him to do anything he did not choose to do of his own accord.

    6. It is a myth – old myth – antiquated understanding that black men are not allowed into Masonry in the south. As a matter of fact, many southern states now recognize Prince Hall Freemasonry and actually have dual visitation.

    Glad we got the truth cleared up a bit.

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