CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Zach Wahls, a 21-year-old gay rights activist raised by lesbian parents, addressed the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday evening, and praised President Barack Obama for endorsing same-sex marriage, while criticizing GOP Mitt Romney for opposing it.
“Governor Romney says he’s against same-sex marriage because every child deserves a mother and a father,” said Wahls. “I think every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine.”
“Mr. Romney,” Wahls said before a national television audience, “my family is just as real as yours.”
Wahls is an Eagle Scout and founder of Scouts for Equality, a national campaign to pressure the Boy Scouts of America into ending its policy against gay scouts and gay and lesbian scout leaders.
Wahls first burst onto the national scene when, as a University of Iowa student, testified in November 2011 before the Iowa House of Representatives about the strength of his family and being raised by lesbian parents. Video of his testimony went viral, and was the most-watched political clip of 2011, according to YouTube.
Wahls’ mothers were married in 2009 after a decision by the Iowa Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage; he is the author of the book, “My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family.”