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Former Senator Writes Moving Essay About Finding Love With a Man After His Wife Died

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Former Senator Writes Moving Essay About Finding Love With a Man After His Wife Died

Harris Woffard

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



  1. FireBaron April 25, 2016

    Bravo Zulu, Senator!

  2. Paul Bass April 25, 2016

    And the world did NOT end, fire did NOT rain from the heavens, floods did NOT occur. Maybe God doesn’t care who you love. Gee, what a concept.

    1. johninPCFL April 25, 2016

      Well, tornados and floods did occur, just not in Pennsylvania. Sometimes, just like the drunk in the bar bathroom, God has poor aim.

      1. Paul Bass April 25, 2016

        That pretty much discredits the Christian notion that their god is omniscient. Or does He only know everything about “christians”?

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    2. David April 25, 2016

      Or, maybe He does. Read the Bible.

      1. Paul Bass April 25, 2016

        Again, according to God’s omniscience, He made LGBT folks, therefore knows their preferences (He gave those preferences to them).

        By normal human (not even God’s) logic, that means he could care less who you love.

        Or do you not believe in your God’s omniscience? Either you believe that he doesn’t make a mistake, so Gays are fine, or God does make a mistake, then why should we believe Him or you?

        That catch-22 was brought to you, in absentia, by Jesus, who never taught hate.

        1. David April 25, 2016

          It is called “free will”. Our Lord gave all of us the choice of what we will do. LGBT types chose the life they lead. Jesus did not teach hate. He came to fulfill the law.

          1. Paul Bass April 25, 2016

            Right, god is NOT omniscient, according to you.

            Gotcha, now we can ignore everything you say about religion or logic, since you obviously know nothing of either. Thanks for telling us.

          2. David April 25, 2016

            Now…where did I say God was not omniscient? I said He gave us free will. Are you clever enough to understand what that means?

          3. Paul Bass April 26, 2016

            So, omniscient god, makes LGBT folks, knowing their desires, than says”free will”, condemns them to “sinning” and going to hell? And this is YOUR just god?

            My argument STILL holds, if GOD is just and omniscient, your statement, he makes LGBT people exactly just the way they are, would preclude him from condemning them to hell.

            So either God is Omniscient and just, and is fine with LGBT loving whoever they want, OR

            GOD is an EVIL being condemning his creations for behaving the way HE made them. And you want ME (or others) to follow this EVIL GOD? Yea, right.

          4. johninPCFL April 26, 2016

            I once asked David about the part where Jesus says “slaves obey your masters”, and whether that suggests that Jesus condoned, or even supported, slavery. His refute to me was that not everything Jesus said was written down, so you really don’t know where He stood on the issue. Interesting that God supported slavery (why else have rules for both masters and slaves in the Bible?), but David is unsure whether Jesus was pro- or anti-, even in light of the pro- statements attributed to Him.
            David also claimed that his “religion hasn’t changed”, so I asked him about the Southern Baptist Convention (his sect) being founded on the principles of accepting slavery as Biblically based and being pro-secession, then renouncing those positions in 2007. His refute was “my religion hasn’t changed”, so presumably he understands that his beliefs are pro-slavery and pro-secession.

          5. David April 26, 2016

            The Bible is the the inerrant word of God. The Bible does not favor gay unions. God gave us free will. Choose to follow the word of God. Simple, really. For people like you who do not believe in a Divine Creator, choose your own path.

          6. Paul Bass April 26, 2016

            Te he Ha ha ha, Ho, Ho, Ho, “inerrant word of God”, What, you saw God write the bible?

            Ha Ha, MAN wrote it!

            The bible, (or Quran, or whatever), was written by men. Men are NOT omniscient, so no you are losing your argument even further…

          7. David April 26, 2016

            Enjoy the time you have left. Hopefully you will accept Christ and have an eternity with Him. Otherwise, this is the best it will ever be for you.

  3. maud gonne April 25, 2016

    So the Senator discovered he was gay at age 70 after his wife Clalre died? Hmmmm. This is a nice story but I do not think it is the whole story.


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