Former US Senator Harris Wofford lost his wife to cancer in 1996, when they were both 70 years old. 20 years later, Wofford is about to marry the second love of his life, a 40 year old man. In a New York Times op-ed, Wofford writes about finding love again with a man after having had it with a woman for 48 years. He also writes about how much marriage equality means to him as a result.
Wofford and his wife Clare met during World War II, and she supported Wofford through his political career, while raising three children with him:
Our romance and adventure continued for five decades. When I was running for election to the Senate in 1991, Clare gave up her job to become an all-out campaigner, helping us win in a landslide. In my narrow losing re-election campaign of 1994, astute Pennsylvanians observed that if Clare had been the candidate, she would have won.
When she died, Wofford thought he would never find a love like that again. Then he met Matthew Charlton, who was 25 years old at the time, five years after her death. They were friends at first, traveling together, and then fell in love. It took three years for Wofford to tell his children about their relationship.
Around the same time, the marriage equality movement began to take hold, a change that Wofford didn’t expect to see, even when he advised President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on civil rights. Now that it’s legal throughout all 50 states, he and Charlton are getting married at the end of the month. He writes, of this milestone:
Twice in my life, I’ve felt the pull of such passionate preference. At age 90, I am lucky to be in an era where the Supreme Court has strengthened what President Obama calls “the dignity of marriage” by recognizing that matrimony is not based on anyone’s sexual nature, choices or dreams. It is based on love.
Congratulations to the happy couple, and may they experience many years of happiness together.
(via New York Times)