NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – They’re known as the Freemasons, a secretive fraternal order dating back to the 17th century.
Masons from all across the state are gathering this week in Nashville at the Grand Lodge of Tennessee.
One of the topics they plan to discuss is a vote on whether to continue their ban on gay members.
Chase Geiser joined the Freemasons in 2011-2012. His grandfather was one, and he liked what the fraternal order stood for.
“We love Masonry. It’s a very good organization; it’s very charitable it has good lessons to teach,” Geiser said.
But he and some other members are taking a stand and speaking publicly because they feel a part of the Masonic constitution in Tennessee needs to change.
After the marriage equality act passed, two Masons out of Memphis got married.
The problem? Homosexual activity is considered a Masonic offense. The couple was suspended from the organization.
“When that happened, we had the Grand Lodge of California come out and say look, we don’t approve of this. The Grand Lodge of DC ,Tennessee… that’s not the way to go,” Geiser told News 2.
So this week, Masonic leadership will vote on whether or not homosexuality will remain a Masonic offense in Tennessee.
And Tennessee Masons aren’t the only group having these types of conversations. The Masons in Georgia also had a similar discussion.
“We don’t want to be considered bigoted in that way. It’s embarrassing. Also, we have these brothers that are very good men, and feel it’s shameful what is happening to them and unfair,” Geiser said.
News 2 reached out to the Grand Master of the Tennessee Freemasons for comment. He has yet to respond.
There are currently around 30,000 Freemasons in Tennessee. The group’s leaders will take on the gay membership issue Wednesday with a vote on Thursday.