Last night, Zach Wahls, the 26-year-old who gained viral notoriety for his 2011 speech advocating for his lesbian mothers to receive the legal protection of marriage, won the Democratic nomination last night (one of many pro-LGBTQ candidates) to run as a State Senator for Iowa’s 37th Senate District.
If elected, he’ll become one of the youngest people to serve in the Iowa Senate, but he’ll have to beat Libertarian challenger Carl Krambeck in the November general elections. (No Republican is running in that district.)
The 2011 speech by Zach Wahls more or less began his political career, even though he demurred about his interest in politics for the years publicly following his viral fame. Nevertheless, the former Eagle Scout continued his activism almost immediately afterwards by co-founding Scouts for Equality in 2012. That organization successfully campaigned for the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay scouts in May 23, 2013, and end its ban on openly gay adult leaders on July 10, 2015.
Here is the 2011 speech by Zach Wahls about his lesbian mothers:
Wahls also spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in support of then-President Barack Obama in a speech advocating for the rights of same-sex couples. During the speech he joked, “People always want to know what it’s like having lesbian parents, so I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m awesome at putting the [toilet] seat down.” He then went on to blast the Republican party’s platform defining marriage as only between a man and a woman and to praise Obama’s advocacy for same-sex couples.
Upon winning last night, Zach Wahls said, “I hope that tonight is a turning point that marks the beginning of rebuilding our state’s social foundation.”
A good night for LGBTQ candidates
The success of Zach Wahls in last night’s primary is just one of several electoral victories for LGBTQ and ally candidates. Former California Lieutenant Governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will run for governor of California after winning his party’s primary. Former state Sen. Mark Leno could become San Francisco’s first openly gay mayor after winning his race last night.
Lesbian Julia Fahl defeated 27-year incumbent Mayor David DelVecchio to become mayor of Lambertville, New Jersey, a city with 3,812 people. Openly gay former Marine Neil Rafferty will head to a runoff race in District 54 of the Alabama State Legislature after winning 48% of the vote. He needed 50% to avoid a runoff.