To: Grand Lodge Officers, Past Grand Masters, Permanent Members, Constituent Lodge Masters and Secretaries, NH Masons, Grand Lodges of the Conference of Grand Masters of North America
I have no doubt that many of you have heard of the recent actions taken by the Grand Lodges of Tennessee and Georgia. For those of you who are not aware, these Grand Lodges recently made the decision to exclude men based on their sexual preference. This has caused concern among the members of many jurisdictions, including New Hampshire.
Since the founding of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire in 1789, we have accepted men into our ranks that are free born, of lawful age, and well recommended. We have welcomed these men and accepted them as Freemasons in New Hampshire.
The Grand Lodge of New Hampshire encourages good men to petition its Lodges providing they meet the following basic requirements:
- An adult male of at least 18 years of age and of good character.
- A man who expresses a belief in a supreme being – no atheist or agnostic can become a Mason – beyond that we are not concerned with a man’s theological distinctions or religious beliefs.
- A man who wishes to join because he has a favorable opinion of our Institution, has not been coerced into joining for unworthy motives, and is applying based on his own free will.
As New Hampshire Freemasons we are instructed that the tenets of our profession are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. On this principle, our Fraternity unites men of every country, sect and opinion and conciliates true friendships among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance. Thus Brethren, any action that runs contrary to this principle goes against the common purposes of Freemasonry.
It is of no concern to us of a man’s sexual preference as a long as the individual meets the criteria set above. We welcome him to join our Lodges and become part of the world’s oldest fraternity.
Brethren of New Hampshire, you are hereby directed to take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly.
John F. Gordon
Fraternally, for the Grand Master,
Thomas S. Lowe, Grand Secretary
A PDF version of the letter is available here.