Standing Up

Iowa Activist Famous for Viral Same-Sex Moms Speech Wins Democratic Primary

A marriage-equality activist whose speech about his lesbian parents went viral in 2011 could be set to become Iowa’s youngest ever lawmaker after he won the Democratic nomination for the state’s Senate District 37. The passionate speech from Zach Wahls, then just 19, argued that Iowa state legislators shouldn’t pass a constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage and civil unions. He told them at the time: “My family really isn’t so different from yours.” The video has been watched over three million times on YouTube, and Wahls went on to help campaign to end the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay people. Wahls, now 26, could be one of the youngest people to serve in the Iowa Senate if elected in November. After winning the Democratic primary Tuesday, Wahls told the Iowa City Press-Citizen: “I hope that tonight is a turning point that marks the beginning of rebuilding our state’s social foundation.”