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Published with permission from Alternet.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford had an essay in Sunday’s New York Times detailing how he fell in love with a man after his wife died 20 years ago.

Wofford’s seat was taken by Rick Santorum, a politician well-known for his anti-LGBT stances. Wofford, who is now 90, wrote that he met his current companion, 40-year-old Matthew Charlton, five years after his wife died of leukemia and they will be married later this month. Among other things, the piece is a powerful testament to how marriage equality has helped so many lives:

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.

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. I had seen firsthand — working and walking with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — that when the time was right, major change for civil rights came to pass in a single creative decade. It is right to expand our conception of marriage to include all Americans who love each other.

You can read Wofford’s essay in its entirety here.

Photo: Flickr user Why Tuesday

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