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Louie Crew
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018

Phone: 973-395-1068 h


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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
Married February 2, 1974


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Re: [HoB/D] Statement from the Executive Council? & breaking news

  • To: bishopsdeputies@hobd.org
  • Subject: Re: [HoB/D] Statement from the Executive Council? & breaking news
  • From: Louie Crew <>
  • Date: Wed, 09 Dec 2009 18:20:15 -0500

XXXXXX wrote:

>  Of course, they are still planning on criminalizing the private behavior
> of a targeted group of people.  (Though it's sobering to remember that in
> our own country, "sodomy laws" were struck down by the Supreme Court only
> in 2003, and when I was born, such laws existed in all 50 states.)

The Napoleonic Code (1804) led to radical reform of almost all law in most
of Europe.  One of its effects was the decriminalization of consensual
homosexual acts throughout most of Europe, EXCEPT in England.

That was no accident, and the Church of England was one of the main
obstacles to reform of Britain's sodomy laws.

Britain continued to execute homosexuals for five more decades.   England's
last execution for sodomy occurred in 1857.

While the death penalty was still on the books, many visitors from the
Continent wrote of their horror at the flagrant public pillorying of
homosexuals in Britain.  (See a brief account of the Vere Street Coterie --
1810 -- at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vere_Street_Coterie).

The British obsession led Lord Byron to spend most of his adult life on the
Continent.  He and his homosexual friends called themselves "Methodists" as
code for "homosexuals"  in their private correspondence.   (See extensive
accounts in Louis Crompton's BYRON AND GREEK LOVE, University of California
Press, 1985; see also Crompton's HOMOSEXUALITY AND CIVILIZATION. Belknap
Press of Harvard University Press.)

Even after the death penalty was removed, the British fervor against gays
continued little abated.   Witness the conviction with jail and hard labor
sentence for Oscar Wilde in 1895.

Wilde died only five years later, in 1900, a completely broken man, and it
took more than six decades thereafter before  Britain decriminalized
consensual homosexuality (1967), almost a decade after decriminalizing
heterosexual prostitution.

Britain's decriminalization of consensual homosexual acts would likely have
been delayed further had not the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey,
supported the reform.

There is much lgbt blood on the hands of the Church of England.   Uganda is
merely keeping alive those ancient uncouths, with help from the silence of
Rowan Williams.  Rowan Williams is no Michael Ramsey.

In the early  1971 one of the bishops from Florida shocked the Episcopal
House of Bishops by asking on the floor of the house how he was to handle a
priest whom he had discovered to be "queer."    His raw candor shocked the
House, which immediately established the House of Bishops Task Force on
Homophiles and the Ministry (1971-76) so that such discussions could go
underground.    (Only Episcopalians could have come up with such a prissy
name as "the House of Bishops Task Force on Homophiles and the Ministry"!)

In October 1974 I took out ads for a new publication, INTEGRITY:  GAY
Immediately I received a letter from Bishop John Walker, a member of this
Task Force, asking me to meet with the Task Force in Washington as soon as
possible.  We met at Epiphany in Washington, DC,  and to that meeting I
brought with me copies fresh off the Xerox,  of the first issue of the
FORUM, in which I called for chapters to be formed.

A priest named Tyndale and a layman named Wycliffe (who says the Holy Spirit
does not have a sense of history?!), both from Chicago, but neither knowing
the other, called me wanting to start a chapter.   I put them in touch. They
met in December and the following summer (1975)  hosted the first national
convention of Integrity at St. James Cathedral in Chicago.

In my papers stored in archives of the University of Michigan is a thick
binder labeled "Episcopal Snide," a collection of hostile mail that I
frequently received from bishops.   Long ago I decided not to keep that
collection near me.   From the day I took out the ads, I understood that we
all have much better news to tell to absolutely everybody.   It is not
ourselves whom we proclaim but Jesus as Lord and ourselves your servants for
Jesus' sake.

Louie, L1 Newark, Queer!  For Christ's Sake