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Jeff Rohrer Will Be First NFL Player to Marry Same-Sex Partner

Jeff Rohrer and Joshua Ross

Jeff Rohrer has scored a touchdown in the pages of LGBTQ history.

The former Dallas Cowboys linebacker will soon become the first known National Football League player, past or present, to marry a person of the same gender.

Rohrer, 59, is set to wed his partner of two years, Joshua Ross, 36, Sunday at Wattles Mansion Gardens in Los Angeles. The retired football player has two teenage children from a previous marriage that ended in divorce.

"I've given at least five people heart attacks with this news," Rohrer told The New York Times. "But for the most part, many of my closest friends, including some of my former teammates with the Cowboys, could not have been more happy and supportive."

Rohrer played for the Cowboys in the 1980s but now works as a Los Angeles producer of television commercials. Ross is skin-care specialist at SkinLab, based in West Hollywood.

The pair, who recently began sharing their adventures on Instagram @joshuaandjeffrey, first met at a tequila bar in West Hollywood in May 2015. Rohrer told the Times he was "completely in the closet" at the time. "And if not for Josh, I’d still be in there," he said.

In an interview with OutSports, Rohrer said his upbringing in Inglewood, Calif., and his career at the NFL prevented him from coming out as gay earlier in life.

"Living with my family in that community, it was not acceptable," Rohrer said. "That was not part of the plan, and it wasn't going to happen. When I went to Yale, it was the same thing there. And then I got drafted by the Cowboys. What am I going to do, come out then?"

"My experience is that people are born gay, and anyone who wants to dispute that I'd be happy to have a conversation with them, including Mike Pence," Rohrer added. "I'd love to sit down with him."

Tags: People, Sports

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