Whether you live in Iowa or not, you have probably heard about the debates surrounding various same-sex topics such as marriage legalization and the ability for same-sex couples to raise children.
In February 2011, a young man by the name of Zach Wahls presented a speech to the Iowa House of Representatives in support of maintaining the rights of same-sex couples. Wahls gave an inspirational testimony about how he was raised by two women, scored in the ninety-ninth percentile on the ACT and he is an Eagle Scout, yet no one could recognize independently that he is a result of same-sex parenting. This testimony quickly spread across YouTube where it went viral and accumulated over 10 million hits. The video has been broadcast on CNN, MSNBC, Good Morning America and Wahls was invited as a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and the Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
On Aug 27, the Drake Legal Clinic had the sincere pleasure of welcoming Wahls to address the topic of same-sex families to attendees. Drake students were among the many that had the chance to hear his views.
Kat Hunt, a junior management major, regards this speech as a way the Drake community stays engaged.
“I think this event was a great opportunity for both fellow Drake students and regional community members alike,” Hunt said. “People need opportunities such as these to get the liberal perspective on current events.”
Jennifer Heartley, a sophomore magazines major, saw the opportunity as a way campus stays balanced.
“Though I don’t necessarily agree on the topic or the views of the presenter, I do like the fact that there are opportunities of both conservative and liberal values so close to campus,” Heartley said.
Drake students were not the only ones to show up for the town hall meeting.
Rob Buell, a Wahls supporter and Des Moines resident, was also in attendance.
“It’s important for people to hear the types of things that he (Wahls) has to say,” Buell said. “Same-sex couples do deserve the same rights as their hetero counterparts, and nobody should ever have to experience the discrimination of being a second-class citizen based upon their personal belief system.”
Whether you agree with Wahls or not, he is a great public speaker and author for his age, and it will be interesting to watch as these issues become more prominent within society. If you did miss your chance on Monday to see Wahls, you can stop by his website, www.zachwahls.com, to see recent blog posts and activities.