So it seems that the USA used to have a Grand Orient of their own. More even, it is said that it was open to men and women. There is not a whole lot of information to be found on the internet, but a little digging brought some information.
Suppsedly the order was founded in 2007 and dismantled around 2015.
It seems that there were two domains:
- grandorientusa.org, which Archive.org has indexed from 2007 to 2015, but somewhere in 2008/9 the website seems to have gone out of use;
- gomasons.org, which Archive.org has indexed form 2009 until 2016, but also this domain seems to have gone dark quite a while ago.
Masonicinfo says that the Grand Orient admitted women, but an old version of the website on Archive.org says differentlly:
What is today the Grand Orient of the United States of America began on December 27th, 2005; several lodges declared their independence from the ‘Antient’ Masonic system and formed a confederation of sovereign lodges under the banner of United Grand Lodge of America. In so doing, they sought to restore Modern Free-Masonry to the American continent and return to the traditional Enlightenment and cosmopolitan ideals expressed in the original Craft. This event allowed the original streams of Masonic thought still existing in Europe to once again flow freely into lodges in America.
In November of 2007, several more lodges declared their independence from the ‘Antient’ Masonic system and the Council of the Order was convened to formalize our relationship with our brethren in France and throughout Europe. The Council voted unanimously to change the name of the United Grand Lodge of America to the Grand Orient of the United States of America to better and more precisely identify it with the existing currents of Modern Free-Masonry throughout the world.
The Grand Orient of the United States of America is a masculine Masonic obedience that works together with the mixed-gender obedience lodges operating under George Washington Union throughout the United States. Together, these two systems represent the most liberal and progressive form of Freemasonry in America, which is open to all people regardless of race, creed, or sex.
Our aim is the brotherhood of all humanity through a universal chain of union extending around the globe. If you are already with us in spirit then you are welcome to join with us in Masonic lodges throughout the world.
Masonicinfo also says that the Grand Orient had only one lodge, the domain for whose website has been for sale for a while. The quote above speaks of “several lodges”.
It looks like it that the Grand Orient of the USA has had backing of the Grand Orient de France, but lost it in 2011. At least, that is what this website says.
There is a Facebook page which has been closed, but not deleted. It has over 4200 ‘likes’!
My guess is that the website of the defunkt organisation is more credible than a Masonic anti-other-Masonic website, which means that the Grand Orient of the USA was a male order who was open to mixed gender Freemasonry, but not open to women itself.
Not really fitting for this website, but the little investigation was fun.