Connells county’s first same-sex couple to wed

Courtesy photos

The Connells and their family

At his Wills Point office July 8, Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Herbert Dunn officiated the wedding of Jerry Rosengartner and Paul Connell.

With the ceremony, Rosengartner and Connell became the first couple to be married in Van Zandt County since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling June 26 gave same-sex pair the right to legally wed.

The couple actually got their marriage license in Kaufman County but came back to Van Zandt County for the ceremony. Connell, 48, has been a resident of the Wills Point area for the past 15 years. Rosengartner, 24, has lived here six years. They have been a couple for the past six years.

Rosengartner said he will take the last name Connell.

The Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex couple’s to legally marry will have a positive impact on the Rosengartner-Connell family, the new Mr. Connell said. “I mean, it opened up a lot of windows for us,” he said. “I couldn’t get him on my insurance or anything like that. I couldn’t take care of him like I should be. It’s just opened up a lot of windows for us and I’m very appreciative.”

Several family members accompanied them to the civil ceremony conducted at the Precinct 3 justice of the peace office. Dunn said he handled the ceremony the same way he has performed weddings for heterosexual couples. “It was no different than any other wedding,” the JP said.


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