Zach Wahls, who has already made a name for himself as an Internet sensation, still can’t believe his role in the Democratic National Convention.
The 19-year-old Iowa delegate addressed the convention. The author of “My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family” was invited to discuss his family and support for same-sex marriage. Last year, he spoke to the state legislature as it debated marriage equality.
“It was a huge honor and a distinct privilege,” Wahls said in an e-mail to The Washington Post about his DNC appearance. “Hard to overstate. I had an absolute blast preparing my remarks, seeing all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a convention and meeting so many inspirational people.
In August, Wahls, an Eagle Scout traveled to the nation’s capital to speak out against the Boy Scouts of America’s policy barring gay scouts and leaders.
“More than anything else, I just wanted to convey to those watching family has meant to my moms, my sister and me. Standing up for the inherent worth and dignity of all people and all families is an incredibly important part of the American destiny, and I’m proud that the Democratic Party has been willing to embrace families like ours,” Wahls said.
Here’s what he said at the DNC:
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.