Iowa House votes to ban gay marriage, even after lesbians' son's passionate plea

Thu. February 3, 2011 7:40 PM by News Staff

Des Moines, Ia. - Zach Wahls, a University of Iowa engineering student, took a trip to the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines on Thursday to try to stop legislators from approving a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.

Wahls and his sister were raised by two lesbians who have been in a committed relationship for decades.

For three minutes, Wahls spoke passionately about the everydayness of his life with his mothers, and spoke against a planned resolution that would ban gay marriage in Iowa. (You can watch his incredible speech below.)

"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," he said. "And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character."

In spite of his plea, the House voted 62 to 37 in to approve the resolution to amend the Iowa State Constitution.

Wahls had also defended gay marriage in an editorial in the University of Iowa newspaper, the Daily Iowan:

"We do chores. We play board games. We get bored. We celebrate Christmas. We mow our lawns and sweep our garages. We have fights, and we have catharsis. We have faith. And, as I pointed out to my mom (the biological one) the other day, the addition of a marriage certificate to our family doesn't really feel a whole lot different. (She agreed.)," Wahls wrote.

"Like our fellow Iowans, we want only to live and let live. At the point that 92 percent of Iowans say that same-sex marriage hasn't affected their lives (as a Des Moines Register poll found last fall), when Iowa divorce rates have reached a 42-year low, and social conservatives have yet to produce a single argument that demonstrates why civil marriage isn't a civil right, you have to wonder what's motivating these people."