For Rev. John Rainey and Rev. Gene Finnegan, the day was joyous in that it marked the culmination of what they described as a 30-year engagement. It was their wedding day, made possible by the Supreme Court decision last June to legalize gay marriage.
John and Gene have been together as a couple for 35 years, and have called Parkvue Place in Sandusky, Ohio, home since 1998. Both gentlemen are past recipients of the Ben M. Herbster Award, recognized independently for their active and engaging support of United Church Homes. John served on the UCH Board of Directors for 24 years.
The grooms wore matching shirts and ties as they fulfilled a commitment they made to each other three decades ago. Rev. Lenore Kure, pastor of First Congregational UCC of Sandusky officiated, with 60 friends and family witnessing the union.
United Church Homes was the first Council of Health and Human Services Ministries member to adopt Open and Affirming standards in the United Church of Christ.
“We never thought we’d live to see this day,” said Gene. “It’s a little overwhelming, but it feels great.”