The English Freemasons have announced that they will now accept both transgender men and women.
According to the BBC, the United Grand Lodge of England believes it is “unlawful discrimination” to expel members who decide to transition.
“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 UGLE said in a document released to their 7,000 lodges.
This means the only group prohibited from joining the historically all-male society are biological women who identify as women. Some people on Twitter viewed the new policy as discriminatory toward women:
Others applauded the move; The New York Times called it “The first time that the ‘male or female’ view of gender is neither as clear nor as complete as people once believed.”
The members who self-identify as women must still be called “brother,” according to the UGLE.
The UGLE spokesman also added that there “has been no general request for guidance on gender reassignment” but “questions on the subject are likely to become increasingly common in the future.”