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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
Married February 2, 1974


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[HoBD] NYT: Making History, Twice, at Grace Cathedral

  • Subject: [HoBD] NYT: Making History, Twice, at Grace Cathedral
  • From: Louie Crew <>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 09:36:06 -0400

After Ernest and I married on February 2, 1974, we headed for UC-Berkeley 
in June, where I had a post-doctoral fellowship from the National 
Endowment for Humanities. At the time, we we did not know another gay 
couple, and we knew very few lesbians.

When we arrived, I called Grace Cathedral and said that we were a racially 
integrated couple from a small town in middle Georgia and would like to be 
put in touch with other gay Episcopalians.

One office person after another passed my call. Few were careful to muffle 
their snickers as each asked me to repeat my request.

I was devastated. The flower children had preceded us by a decade; this 
was the most liberal cathedral in the world in the world's most 
gay-affirming city.

I made an appointment with Peter Haynes+, then the Episcopal chaplain at 
Berkeley, with whom I shared my anguish.

"These people are laughing at the holiest relationship that I have ever 

Peter could hardly get a word in edgewise, but when he did, he asked the 
crucial question, "What are you going to do about it?"

"I am going to start an organization," I fired back, surprising even 
myself; "and I am going to call it Integrity, to reclaim what they have 

By November we had a newsletter. By December our first chapter convened in 
Chicago, and the following summer that chapter hosted our first national 
convention at the Cathedral of St. James, with theologian Norman Pittenger 
the main speaker. Rt. Rev. Quintin E. Primo, then Bishop Suffragan of 
Chicago, was the celebrant at our main mass. Two years later we had our 
third national convention in San Francisco. By then we had almost 30 

Most of this work was done, and continues to be done, by others. I merely 
blew the shofar.

When we arrived in San Francisco, I had assumed that someone had already 
done such work. Before calling Grace, I had no idea of what it is to step 
into the direct path of the Holy Spirit.

Five years ago, I called Grace Cathedral anonymously to ask the same 
question again. I occasionally play the recording which I made of the 
loving response that I received.

May Dr. Shaw's tenure at Grace bring joy to absolutely everybody!

Louie, Lay Newark

> September 23, 2010
> Making History, Twice, at Grace Cathedral
> Scott James is a columnist for The Bay Citizen.
> The installation of Jane Alison Shaw as the eighth dean of 
> GraceCathedral on Nob Hill on Nov. 6 is a milestone -- she will be the 
> first woman to lead  the cathedral, which was founded during the Gold Rush 
> in 1849.
> Dr. Shaw will also be the cathedral˙˙s first openly gay dean.