For generations, Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists have been at the forefront of equality for gender and sexual minorities.

Rev. Denis with couple

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 married life.

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 accountability.

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 to schedule a meeting. He can also

Rev. Denis with his husband, Joe

assist you in booking the facilities at East Shore for your ceremony and/or reception.