He went viral for defending his lesbian moms—now he’s a state senator at 27

Iowa House Democrats / YouTube Zach Wahls Speaks About Family 1541679022.jpg...
Iowa House Democrats / YouTube

Seven years ago, Zach Wahls went viral for delivering a passionate speech defending his lesbian moms in front of the Iowa House of Representatives. He was virtually unknown in 2011 when he spoke out in support of same-sex marriage and used his mom’s loving relationship as a personal example. Now, in a significant victory over his opponent, Carl Krambeck, a Libertarian, Wahls is a state lawmaker.

Wahls, a Democrat, won 78 percent of the vote in Iowa Senate District 25. (No Republican ran in this race.)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Wahls is still passionate about LGBTQ rights, but he also campaigned on promises of gun control, improved workers’ rights, better education, and affordable health care.

Even though marriage equality is now the law of the land, his speech about his moms is still heartwarming:

For video context, Wahls was speaking at a public forum at the Iowa House of Representatives. They were discussing House Joint Resolution 6, which would have (essentially) ended civil unions in Iowa. He was just a 19-year-old student at the University of Iowa at the time.

Now, at 27, Wahls will be one of the youngest people to ever serve in the Iowa Senate. And people are thrilled and inspired:

Some people consider Wahls to be part of a “rainbow” wave of LGBTQ people being elected into office, including Sharice Davids, the second openly lesbian woman in Congress, Tammy Baldwin, who was the first openly gay person elected to the Senate, being reelected in Wisconsin, and Jared Polis, the first openly gay man to be governor in the country. Wahls does not openly identify as LGBT, but he is without a doubt an ally and an advocate.

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