Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Zach Wahls

*scheduled post


I saw this video link on Facebook the other night. It was being "shared" almost every hour. I immediately went and searched for it on YouTube. It's about a 19-yeard-old University of Iowa engineering student Zach Wahls, who spoke out against a resolution that would ban gay marriages and civil union. Here is the video and the complete speech.

Good evening Mr. Chairman. My name is Zach Wahls. I’m a sixth-generation Iowan and an engineering student at the University of Iowa and I was raised by two women. 
My biological mom, Terry, told her grandparents that she was pregnant, that the artificial insemination had worked, and they wouldn’t even acknowledge it. 
It wasn’t until I was born and they succumbed to my infantile cuteness that they broke down and told her that they were thrilled to have another grandson. 
Unfortunately, neither of them lived to see her marry her partner Jackie of 15 years when they wed in 2009. 
My younger sister and only sibling was born in 1994. We actually have the same anonymous donor so we’re full siblings, which is really cool for me. 
Um, I guess the point is our family really isn’t so different from any other Iowa family. You know, when I’m home we go to church together, we eat dinner, we go on vacations. Ah, but, you know, we have our hard times too, we get in fights…you know. 
Actually my mom, Terry(Terry Wahls) was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000. It is a devastating disease that put her in a wheelchair. So we’ve had our struggles. 
But, you know, we’re Iowans. We don’t expect anyone to solve our problems for us. We’ll fight our own battles. We just hope for equal and fair treatment from our government. 
Being a student at the University of Iowa, the topic of same sex marriage comes up quite frequently in classroom discussions…you know The question always comes down to, well, “Can gays even raise kids?” 
In question, you know, the conversation gets quiet for a moment because most people don’t really have an answer. And then I raise my hand and say, “Actually, I was raised by a gay couple, and I’m doing pretty well.” 
I scored in the 99th percentile on the A.C.T. I’m actually an Eagle Scout. I own and operate my own small business. If I was your son, Mr. Chairman, I believe I’d make you very proud. 
I’m not really so different from any of your children. My family really isn’t so different from yours. After all, your family doesn’t derive its sense of worth from being told by the state: “You’re married. Congratulations.” No. 
The sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other. To work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us. That’s what makes a family. 
So what you’re voting here isn’t to change us. It’s not to change our families, it’s to change how the law views us; how the law treats us. You are voting for the first time in the history of our state to codify discrimination into our constitution, a constitution that but for the proposed amendment, is the least amended constitution in the United States of America. 
You are telling Iowans that some among you are second class citizens who do not have the right to marry the person you love. 
So will this vote affect my family? Will it affect yours? 
In the next two hours I’m sure we’re going to hear plenty of testimony about how damaging having gay parents is on kids. 
But in my 19 years, not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple. 
And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character. 
Thank you very much.
- Zach Wahls 






There.

This young man stated and emphasized some excellent points. He is living proof that a gay couple can raise a kid and have him become a great member of the society. It is just disheartening that ignorance and discrimination are dominant in our times, but this kid carried the message of equality - to be able to love freely, without worry or hesitation and be with the one we love, regardless of gender.

But this is just me. You may agree with me and Zach. Or not. That's just fine. Feel free to share your views. What do you think?


Do read this guest post: Gay Rights


20 comments:

  1. I really agree with the kid. What he did and said took courage, and it's proof that he is living proof that the sexual orientation of your parents doesn't matter, it doesn't affect how you do as a parent.

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  2. This was such an inspirational read. Such heated debate over the issue of gay marriage really frustrates me, it's two consenting adults who love each other wanting to be joined in a union that certificates their love. People need to realise that it really isn't that big of a deal

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  3. that is a great speech! im so proud of him!
    Juliet

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  4. All of my respect for him just getting out there and telling his story. Who could be a better judge of these things than someone who experiences it first-hand?

    Scary thing is he's actually right, about the law taking in discrimination. Bluh.

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  5. this is a thought-provoking speech coming from a kid raised by a gay couple. gay slurs should be bar in the community.

    btw, leah you answered the question right. hats off.

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  6. I had seen it few days ago. And that is a sign of being valor enough to fight.!

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  7. @Mark Courage, indeed. It's sad that people think that just because two people are of the same gender, then they couldn't raise a kid. Zach is proof that they could do so just fine..

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  8. @Cindy I agree. "TWO CONSENTING ADULTS".. People should learn to understand the meaning of this phrase.

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  9. @Juliet Aww.. Me too! It took guts to do what he did.. :)

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  10. @Fang Yes. No one could tell the story better. Zach lived with and is raised by a gay couple.. and he turned out okay. That's proof.

    And yeah.. he's spot-on on that matter, discrimination into the constitution.. and it sucks. :|

    I admire him for standing up..

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  11. @Albert Einstein☺ True. :)

    Oh, I did? What's my prize? LOL..

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  12. @tim Yeah, the video has become viral. :) I admire him for speaking out. Not too many people would do that.. in fear of being rejected and JUDGED.

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  13. so moved by this. super glad I found your blog. totally following. If you get a sec I'd love to hear what you think of my fashion blog. It's all about the adventures of a southern girl turned LA local. xo

    www.fashboulevard.blogspot.com

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  14. Good for Zalch and make your mommys proud.

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  15. Here’s our interview with Zach about how his life has changed after this speech thrust him into the public eye, what it was like growing up with two mothers, what led him to decide to go and speak before the House of Representatives, and what other young people can do to fight for equality and speak out against intolerance.

    http://patv.tv/blog/2011/04/06/talking-with-yale-cohn-with-zach-wahls/

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  16. I totally agree with you and Zach. yes parang couple kayo ni zach ah? hehe.. anyway, I also believe that if a person chooses to be good, he/she will be good regardless who raised him/her. Zach is a living proof that even a non-traditional family, let say same sex marriage, can mold a person worth admiring.

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  17. Wow. He's really inspiring! I hope they listened to him!

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  18. Awesome speech. Was the resolution adopted by the US Congress? I guess not after listening to Ms. Wahls.

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  19. its nice to understand people thoughts...and the video i just saw was good enough to express to everyone else the meaning of fairness...
    and thank yo also for following me...^^Godbless your blog more...

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