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Zach Wahls: “My Two Moms”

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Christy Blevins

Zach Wahls speaks at the kick-off of Women’s Forum about equality in LGBT communities

“[This] is a story that needs to be told. A story that needs to be heard,” said Zach Wahls in his talk that kicked off the Roanoke’s Women’s Forum.

On Wednesday, March 13, Zach Wahls was the first to speak at the Women’s Forum event at Roanoke College. Wahls, who gave a speech backing President Obama at the democratic convention this year, rose to internet stardom through a moving plea before the Iowa legislature on behalf of gay marriage back in 2011.

Wahls spoke at RC in order to address marriage equality for LGBT society. He told his personal story about growing up with two mothers. Zach Wahls is the son of lesbian couple Terry Wahls and Jackie Reger. Wahls discussed the Defense of Marriage Act that was signed by Clinton in 1996 during his talk on Wednesday as well as how he was scared as a child that the government would take him away from his family.

Wahls played the audience a clip of his testimony against an amendment that would redefine marriage as a man and women at the Iowa House Judiciary Committee.  After the video ended, Wahls received an array of applause from all those attending the event. He stated that he received “500 emails” the day after the testament. Shortly after, television stations started telephoning him about appearances and almost all the major networks had contacted him within a week, “except for FOX News,” Wahls jokingly added, “shocking, I know.”

Throughout his speech, Wahls expressed that his “moms are not gay married, they are married.” And that this conversation was about marriage, not “gay marriage.” Wahls engaged the audience and asked them to quietly think of their own definitions and mental images of marriage. He challenged social stereotypes and invited others to do the same.

Wahls concluded his talk by stating, “…At the end of the day what matters most to [children] is that they have a parent, or parents that [have what it takes] to raise them. At the end of the day, it’s about love.”

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