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Widowed former senator remarries at 90. This time to a man.

The Washington Post The Washington Post 25/04/2016 Helena Andrews-Dyer
Former senator Harris Wofford, second from right, was among those at the 2014 White House ceremony where President Obama signed the America’s Promise Summit Declaration. © Mark Wilson/Getty Images Former senator Harris Wofford, second from right, was among those at the 2014 White House ceremony where President Obama signed the America’s Promise Summit Declaration.

When they first met on a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., former senator Harris Wofford was 75 and his soon-to-be husband, interior designer Matthew Charlton, was just 25.

Now, 15 years later, the Washington couple plans to tie the knot April 30, exactly three weeks after Wofford’s 90th birthday and 68 years after his first wedding, to Clare Wofford, to whom the former politician was happily married for 48 years before her death.

If all that math is more than confusing, Wofford recently provided a simple common denominator: “It is based on love,” he wrote in the New York Times on Sunday.

Wofford directly challenged the need for labels in a moving (and surprising) personal essay that spanned his meeting Clare, when the two were student activists during World War II, and then Charlton, as the former senator from Pennsylvania was settling into life as a widower five decades later.

“Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall — straight, gay or in between,” he wrote. “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.”

A friend of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s who served as John F. Kennedy’s civil rights adviser, Wofford joined with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) during his single term in office to co-author the King Holiday and Service Act, legislation that would marry the national holiday with volunteerism.

In his essay, Wofford wrote that he once believed marriage equality to be impossible but eventually had a change of heart, using his past experience as a guide for the future.

“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.”

There are no details on the ceremony, but according to the essay, Wofford, who has three adult children, and Charlton plan to recite traditional marriage vows while joining hands and promising “to be bound together.”

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