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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Zach Wahls speaks to Democratic Convention about family
Two mom family "just as real" as Mitt Romney's
by Matt Comer, editor of QNotes
2012-09-06

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Delegates and guests to the 2012 Democratic National Convention rose to their feet to welcome Zach Wahls to the stage early Thursday evening.

The young man and straight ally became famous across the nation after standing up at the Iowa General Assembly in support of his two mothers during that state's debate over gay marriage.

At the convention podium, Wahls said his family was "like any other" — "We eat dinner, we go to church, we have chores," he said. "But some people don't see it that way." When I was 12, watching the 2004 Republican convention, I remember politicians talking about protecting marriage from families like mine."

This year's DNC has been heavy on LGBT-inclusive rhetoric. But convention organizers have gone further by actively including speakers like Wahls. Openly gay Congressman Barney Frank also spoke on Thursday. On the convention's opening night, several speakers including First Lady Michelle Obama reiterated their support for LGBT equality.

Wahls' speech at the convention was meant to rally support against Mitt Romney. Democrats say he'll be harmful to families.

"Governor Romney says he's against same-sex marriage because every child deserves a mother and a father," Wahls said. "I think every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine. Because 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. Mr. Romney, my family is just as real as yours.

Matt Comer is the current editor of QNotes, serving in the role from Oct. 1, 2007, to Jan. 20, 2012, and from June 18, 2012, to the present. He can be reached via email at editor@goqnotes.com or via phone at 704-531-9988, ext. 202. Follow him online at facebook.com/matthew.mh.comer or at twitter.com/interstateq.

The following is a copy of a speech, as prepared for delivery by Zach Wahls at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, September 6, 2012:

I'm a sixth-generation Iowan, an Eagle Scout, and I was raised by my two moms, Jackie and Terry.

People want to know what it's like having lesbian parents. I'll let you in on a secret: I'm awesome at putting the seat down. Otherwise, we're like any other family. We eat dinner, we go to church, we have chores. But some people don't see it that way. When I was 12, watching the 2004 Republican convention, I remember politicians talking about protecting marriage from families like mine.

Now, supporting a view of marriage as between a man and woman isn't radical. For many people, it's a matter of faith. We respect that. Watching that convention on TV, though I felt confused, frustrated. Why didn't they think my family was a real family?

Governor Romney says he's against same-sex marriage because every child deserves a mother and a father. I think every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine. Because 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. Mr. Romney, my family is just as real as yours.

President Obama understands that. He supports my moms' marriage. President Obama put his political future on the line to do what was right. Without his leadership, we wouldn't be here. President Obama is fighting for our families... all of our families. He has our backs. We have his.


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