Let us now praise caustic Christians,
the champions of justice in all generations,
through whom God has restored the flow of mercy.
Some have nailed theses to the church door
with prophetic power.
Some have started new universities to
challenge the prevailing notions.
Some have overturned tables at the temple,
demanding alms for the poor, the sick,
and the destitute before we buy organs
and stained glass.
Some have worn dresses to be priested for gender justice.
Some have yanked off masks to proclaim their loving gay unions.
Some have demanded of the white authorities, “Let My People Go!”
Some have marched through tear gas and police dogs,
defying orders from prelates and judges.
Some have destroyed draft files
and burned plans for nuclear destruction.
Some have organized unions and cooperatives.
Some have fought to redistribute God’s bounty justly.
All these won notoriety in their own generation
and were the scandal of their times.
Many have sat in jails rather than to recant
or to say that the earth as we know it
is at the center of the universe.
Others have died.
Many there are who have left behind them no name,
but a legacy of hope restored, conflict resolved,
injustice rectified, lives redeemed.
Their victories are the inheritance of future generations.
Their line will endure for all times.
A prolific author and lifelong campaigner for the acceptance and inclusion of LGBT people by Christians and in the mainline church, Louie Clay founded IntegrityUSA, a gay-acceptance group within the Episcopal Church, while teaching at Fort Valley State University in 1974. He married Ernest Clay in 1974 and then again in 2013, when marriage equality had become the law of the land. Known as Louie Crew for most of his life, he took his partner’s surname in his later years.