Former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford announced he will marry his partner, Matthew Charlton, on Saturday. The lawmaker’s second marriage comes nearly 20 years after the death of his wife.
In a op-ed column written in The New York Times, Wofford, 90, describes meeting and falling in love with Charlton, 40. Wofford was 75 at the time and Charlton 25 when the pair met on the beach.
“We both felt the immediate spark, and as time went on, we realized that our bond had grown into love,” Wofford writes. “Other than with Clare, I had never felt love blossom this way before.”
Wofford’s wife Claire died in 1996 after battling leukemia.
“I assumed that I was too old to seek or expect another romance,” Wofford continues. “But five years later, standing on a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I sensed a creative hour and did not want to miss it.”
“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.”
Wofford’s political career included being an advisor to John F. Kennedy and working alongside Martin Luther King Jr.