This weekend, retired Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer will marry Joshua Ross, making Rohrer the first known current or former National Football League player in a same-sex marriage, reports The New York Times.
Rohrer, 59, played football for Yale University and spent six seasons in the NFL. Before Rohrer, only seven NFL players who played in a regular season game had come out as gay. But none came out until after their playing days were over, according to Outsports.
Rohrer told the Times he would have been "cut immediately" if he'd told the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s that he was gay. "It was a different world back then, people didn't want to hear that," he said.
Many of Rohrer's close friends and family, including former Dallas Cowboys teammates, have been supportive, says the Times. Retired NFL Senior Vice President of Communications Greg Aiello said the NFL community has done a lot of work to develop tolerance and inclusion in the league.
Roher feels "revived," like he's "born again," he told Outsports. "I'm not going to change the world, but we can at least get the message out there that it's OK and I'm proud of where I am. I'm not ashamed," he said. Roher and Ross, 36, an aesthetician in West Hollywood, will be married Sunday in Los Angeles. Read more at The New York Times. Taylor Watson
In a poignant piece for The New York Times, former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.) announced that 20 years after his wife's death, he is getting remarried, this time to a man he felt an "immediate spark" with 15 years ago.
Wofford writes that his wife of 48 years, Clare, died of leukemia in 1996 at the age of 70. He was "sure I would never again feel the kind of love Clare and I shared," and assumed he was too old to find someone else. During a trip to Ft. Lauderdale five years later, he met Matthew Charlton, then 25, and he was struck by his "inquisitive and thoughtful manner and his charm." The pair were decades apart in age, "yet we clicked," Wofford wrote, and a friendship was formed. Wofford and Charlton enjoyed traveling together, and as time went on, "we realized that our bond had grown into love," Wofford wrote. "Other than with Clare, I had never felt love blossom this way before."
It took him three years to tell his sons and daughter about his new relationship, and his children have welcomed Charlton into the family (Charlton's parents have also embraced Wofford). Their bond "is entirely natural" to some, while others view it as a "strange surprise," and now, 15 years after meeting, Wofford, 90, and Charlton, 40, are getting married on April 30. "Too often our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall — straight, gay, or in between," Wofford writes. "I don't categorize myself based on the gender of those I love. I had a half-century of marriage with a wonderful woman, and now am lucky for a second time to have found happiness." Read Wofford's entire essay at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia