Harris Wofford announces marriage to a man
Harris Wofford was married to his wife for almost fifty years
Former Philadelphia senator is to wed 40-year-old Matthew Charlton
After she died from leukemia in 1996, he thought he’d never find love again
But five years later he met his new partner and the couple fell in love
Harris Wofford, 90 is set to wed his male partner Charlton 40 come April 30
Harris Wofford finds love again
|Former Philadelphia senator Harris Wofford
Former senator Harris Wofford, who was married to his wife for 48 years, reveals he will marry his new male partner fifty years his junior
Wofford said never believed gay marriage would be made legal in the United States even after their families accepted them.
Former senator, 90, has revealed he is to wed his male partner after finding love again after his fifty-year marriage to his wife.
Wofford wrote a moving essay about the tragic loss of his wife Clare Lindgren to leukemia in 1996, and beginning a new chapter of his life with Matthew Charlton who is 50 years his junior.
According to New York Times reports, Wofford, a Pennsylvania senator from 1991 to 1995 and an adviser to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., met his wife Clare while serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Second World War.They married in 1948 and went on to have three children together. She even gave up her job to become his all-out campaigner, his ‘best critic’ and ‘best friend’.
|Harris Wofford and Clare Lindgren(Late) on their wedding day
‘Our romance and adventure continued for five decades,’ Wofford wrote.
Sadly, that adventure came to an end on January 3, 1996 when Clare died from acute leukemia.
|Harris Wofford and Clare Lindgren(Late)
At the age of 70, Wofford was left heartbroken and sure he would ‘never again feel the kind of love Clare and I shared’.
Five years later, he met Matthew by chance while swimming off a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
And despite being decades apart in age, he said they instantly ‘clicked.’
The couple fell in love and Wofford, said he did not label himself as ‘gay’ or ‘straight’, he was simply happy to have found love for a second time.
‘To some, our bond is entirely natural, to others it comes as a strange surprise, but most soon see the strength of our feelings and our devotion to each other. We have now been together for 15 years.
‘Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall straight, gay or in between. 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.’
Now Wofford, who was succeeded in office by Senator Rick Santorum, is planning to marry his new partner on April 30 – something he never believed he’d be able to do.
‘For a long time, I did not suspect that idea and fate might meet in my lifetime to produce same-sex marriage equality. My focus was on other issues facing our nation, especially advancing national service for all. Seeking to change something as deeply ingrained in law and public opinion as the definition of marriage seemed impossible.
‘I was wrong, and should not have been so pessimistic.’
He said that he feels ‘lucky’ to be in an era when marriage ‘is not based on anyone’s sexual nature, choices or dreams. It is based on love.’
|Harris Wofford and former US president Bill Clinton
Wofford was born to a wealthy and prominent Southern family who relocated to Scarsdale, New York.
As a child he accompanied his grandmother on a trip around the world including India where he became fascinated by Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence, New Republic reported.
He returned to school where he founded the Student Federalists which called for a united world government. The popularity of the organization led to Newsweek predicting Wofford would become president one day.
After serving in Army Air Corps during the Second World War, he became inspired by the civil rights movement and became the first white student to enroll at Washington’s Howard University Law School since female suffragists attended in the 1910s.
Wofford also became aware of Martin Luther King Jr. to whom he began writing to discuss Gandhi’s non-violent approach to civil disobedience. The pair later met and Wofford became an adviser to the famous activist.
He was also persuaded to join John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign after Kennedy called on him to help him win the ‘Negro vote.’
After Kennedy’s win he took a job in administration and went onto help Sargent Shriver found the Peace Corps. But he never considered running for office himself until decades later.
It was in May 1991, after the former senator John Heinz was killed in a plane crash, that Hofford was appointed to the position by Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey.
|Harris Wofford with US president, Barrack Obama
He would lose the re-election in 1996 but that would not stop Wofford’s fight for civil rights. In 2005 he met Barack Obama.
The two became good friends and during his presidential campaign, when Obama was under fire for inflammatory remarks by his former pastor, it was Hofford he chose to introduce him before making his now-famous race speech in Philadelphia.
Since then Wofford has served as a board member for numerous charities and is currently on the board for Malaria No More. Culled from dailymail