On Tuesday, the Iowa House passed a constitutional amendment 62 to 37 that if ultimately approved by voters would once again ban same-sex unions in the state. Prior to the vote, 19-year-old Zach Wahls, a University of Iowa student and sixth generation Iowan, spoke against the resolution, telling the packed public hearings on Monday night that he has two mothers and that he’s no worse off for it.
Defiant and well spoken, Wahls also told lawmakers that there is nothing they can do to break up his family—all they can do is codify discrimination in the Iowa constitution and deny his parents formal recognition as same-sex partners, the message being: their family will endure, but a terrible injustice will have been done that will stain the state’s reputation.
Lawmakers chose not to hear him, but you can listen below:
In 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the statutory ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Since then, religious conservatives have launched an assault on the state’s same-sex marriages, precipitating the unseating of three Iowa justices that were part of the 2009 decision and facilitating a Republican controlled House that has vowed to push through The Iowa Marriage Amendment (IMA) and put the issue before voters on the 2013 ballot.
However, Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal (D) has vowed to block the measure from reaching the floor in the upper chamber.
Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Jeff Belmonte.