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Founder of Integrity and LGBT+ advocate Louie Crew Clay has died

Founder of Integrity and LGBT+ advocate Louie Crew Clay has died

Louie Crew Clay, founder of Integrity and Emeritus Professor at Rutgers University has died yesterday with his husband of over forty years, Ernest, by his side.

Louie and Ernest 

Louie Crew was born December 9, 1936, in Anniston, Alabama. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in 1958. He received his M.A. from Auburn University (1959) and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama (1971).

He committed himself to his husband Ernest Clay in 1974, many years before their marriage was legally recognized. They were legally married on August 22, 2013 and Crew took on his husband’s last name from that time on.

He also founded Integrity USA, an activist group which lobbied for full acceptance of LGBT+ persons in the life of the church. The Integrity Eucharist was a high point of General Convention for many years, and always a joyous celebration of the diversity of creation. Clay was a member of Executive Council from 2000-2006 and was elected a deputy to General Convention from the diocese of Newark six times (1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009). He was recognized for his work by several Episcopal seminaries; receiving honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Episcopal Divinity School in 1999 and from General Theological Seminary in 2003, and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in 2004.

Clay was also a prolific author and published numerous articles, and collections of poetry. He was also the editor of 101 Reasons to be Episcopalian.




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Christopher S. Martin

Every year on the anniversary of my ordination I recieved a wonderful email from Louie (whom I had never met.) He maintained an extensive data base of clergy, and I really was touched by his remarks. May Ernest and all Louies friends be comforted with the words of St. John Chrysostom who said “Those whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are.”

Kurt Hill

May he rest in peace with the saints in light. Pray for us, Louie, that we may be worthy of the tasks set before us.

Eric Bonetti

Sad news, indeed. We all too quickly forget the challenges faced by those who have come before us.

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