Zach Wahls, who defended same-sex marriage in 2011’s most-watched political video, is seeking a seat as Iowa State Senator. At the time that speech went viral, Wahls was an extremely omniscient 19-year-old who showed himself as a living example that his two moms—Jackie Reger and Terry Wahls—raised a superb citizen on the cusp of a promising political career. Today, Wahls is 26. His bid for Iowa’s 37th District Senate seat was announced December 21, which not so coincidentally happened to mark the 21st anniversary of his moms’ commitment ceremony.
Democrat Bob Dvorsky presently holds the seat, but is not seeking re-election.
“It’s been difficult watching Republicans hollow out Iowa’s social foundation. To me, it seems like we’re really at a crossroads between a situation where it’s every man, woman and child for him or herself and getting back to the morals that have defined this state.”
A series of tweets further emphasized Wahls’ campaign vision.
“This is an all hands on deck situation that is going to determine the future of our state for generations to come—and all hands means all hands,” he wrote.
Wahls was an engineering student at the University of Iowa at the time of his famous defense of same-sex marriage speech (the video has more than 19 million views), which occurred in front of the Iowa House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee.
“Not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple,” he told the Committee. “And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character.”
In these six short years since his statements on equality went viral, Wahls has established quite a momentum in entering public service. Currently he is working on his master’s degree in public policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 2012, he published My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family. Wahls co-founded Scouts for Equality, a group working to end the Boy Scouts of America’s ban of LGBTQ members (Wahls is an Eagle Scout).
Since there is a string of truth to the saying “all politics is local,” it should be acknowledged that U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R) started her political career in the Iowa Senate where she co-sponsored a bill to amend that state’s constitution to legally define marriage as a union between one man and one women—it failed. Republican Steve King is a wingnut prejudiced cretin representing Iowa’s 4th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has expressed concern that Iowa could become a gay marriage Mecca, and his overall shameless, abysmal positions on LGBTQ rights have earned him an induction into the Human Rights Campaign’s “Hall of Shame.” His opinions on the whole range of social and political issues presently facing our nation categorize King as a bigot hero for bigots.
In consideration of special elections held in 2017 resulting in largely democratic victories up and down the ballot—for Doug Jones, Danica Roem—Zach Wahls is a beacon of hope for the future of Iowa and beyond.
Here’s Zach on The Ellen Show: