For generations, Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian
Universalists have been at the forefront of equality for gender and
Rev. Denis Letourneau Paul has solemnized the marriages of hundreds
of couples, including a dozen or so when same sex marriage became legal
(the first time) in California. His approach to crafting a wedding
service is simultaneously personal and communal. He meets with the
couple to help them determine their strengths and their growing edges,
as they craft vows that will guide the couple through the challenges of
Rev Denis also includes the wider community in the ceremony so that
they are participants, not just observers. In each wedding ceremony, the
gathered family and friends have their own vows - the covenantal
promises they make to the couple, themselves, each other, and God - in
support of the union. These vows are based on the specific requests the
couple have of their loved ones for support, guidance and even
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe that all loving couples have
the right to equal protection under the law, and that all marriages are
sacred, regardless of the couple's gender.
The Universalist Church of America was the first denomination in the
United States to ordain women. The American Unitarian Association was
the first to set women ministers up as pastors in their own churches in
the middle of the 19th century. The Unitarian Universalist Association
was the first denomination to welcome BGLT folks into ordained ministry,
and UUA president Rev. Bill Sinkford solemnized the first same sex
marriage in the United States, in Massachusetts in May, 2004.
Currently in the UUA, more than half of our ministers are women, and
nearly one-quarter identify as a LGBTQQI.
Here at East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, we hired in 2014
the Reverend Denis Letourneau Paul as our development minister at the
same time as the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland called his
partner, the Reverend Joseph M Cherry as their settled minister. Rev
Denis and Rev Joe are the only gay male couple to serve UU congregations
in the United States.
Contact Rev Denis directly at
schedule a meeting. He can also assist you in booking the facilities at
East Shore for your ceremony and/or reception.