Yesterday the Presbyterian Church ordained its first openly gay minister, Scott Anderson, in Madison, Wisconsin. Anderson, who is 56, was a minister before but left the job in 1990 after he was rejected by members of his congregation in Sacramento, California. Despite his negative experience, he always remained active in the church. He began trying to return to the ministry five years ago, but had to wait until this July when the church's constitution was finally changed to permit openly gay and lesbian ministers. Anderson, who has been with his partner for 20 years, hopes his ordination signals that the church "will increasingly become a more constructive player in the wider cultural discussion about gays and lesbians."
When Anderson was officially ordained in front of his congregation at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, he got plenty of well-wishes.
"It was very healing for me and for many people there. It was very celebratory. Presbyterians don't cheer very often, but there was some cheering."
He may be a pioneer, but he certainly didn't set out to be:
"It just so happened that I was the first in line, I didn't intend to be the first. What a great privilege and honor and humbling to be the first."
Hopefully there are a lot more people like him in line.