U.S. NewsHuman Rights


Years After Wife's Death, 90-Year-Old Former Senator To Marry A Man

In a New York Times op-ed, former Pennsylvania Sen. Harris Wofford explains his romance with a 40-year-old man.
Posted at 12:20 PM, Apr 25, 2016

At 90 years old, former Pennsylvania Sen. Harris Wofford has announced he's marrying a man 20 years after the death of his wife. 

In a New York Times op-ed, Wofford explained his budding romance: "We both felt the immediate spark, and as time went on, we realized that our bond had grown into love. Other than with Clare, I had never felt love blossom this way before."

Wofford says he is set to marry Matthew Charlton, a 40-year-old man whom he met nearly 15 years ago, at the end of April. Wofford was married for nearly five decades before his wife, Clare, died in 1996 after battling acute leukemia. 

Wofford says in his letter that he is thankful for the Supreme Court's decision to strengthen "the dignity of marriage" by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. 

In the New York Times piece, he also adds, "Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall — straight, gay or in between. ... I had a half-century of marriage with a wonderful woman, and now am lucky for a second time to have found happiness."

Wofford spent a large part of his career fighting for civil rights. He served as a special assistant for President John F. Kennedy and advised Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement. 

This video includes clips from CNNthe White House and the Corporation for National and Community Service, and images from Getty Images.