It’s a supreme irony that Christianity, which as historically practiced is the primary source of anti-gay bigotry in the western world, is a house that’s been quietly built from the efforts of many anonymous (i.e. closeted) LGBT people across the centuries. Whether as church leaders, parish ministers, or lay volunteers, gay women and men have always been an active force –– much larger than their numbers in the general population –– inside the various Christian denominations. Slowly, some of the mainline Protestant churches are starting to recognize the dignity, service, and talents of their most active members by ordaining them as ministers.

Stephen V. Sprinkle (pictured above), a longtime theology professor at TCU’s Brite Divinity School as well as an ordained minister and an LGBT activist, just penned a comprehensive piece for the Huffington Post about the relatively recent phenomenon of gay people getting the collar. Much of that action is taking place right here in Texas. My colleague Jeff Prince located the Tarrant County angle for the trend in Finding Home, his Fort Worth Weekly cover story from this past January. It’s a quiet, long-gestating revolution, this recognition by (some) churches that they have sinned greatly against their own. But it’s a reason to celebrate for anyone who takes seriously the radically inclusive teachings of Jesus.