Son of lesbian couple speaks in Sioux City

August 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm

from The Sioux City Journal.

SIOUX CITY | Zach Wahls said he doesn’t feel like he grew up differently than anyone else.

An Eagle Scout and former high school quarterback, the Iowa City resident credits his “two moms,” Terry Wahls and Jackie Reger, for instilling in him strength, confidence and courage.

“People always ask what it’s like having gay parents,” he said, during the “Why Marriage Matters” forum Thursday at the Sioux City Convention Center. “They aren’t gay parents. To me, they’re just parents.”

The event was sponsored by One Iowa, the state’s largest gay advocacy group.

Zach Wahls, 21, gained national attention last year, when he passionately spoke in front of the state House of Representative against a proposed amendment to repeal marriage equality. House lawmakers approved a plan to create a ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage if approved.

On Thursday, he talked about marriage equality and having gay parents.

“Nobody calls their mom and dad ‘straight’ parents,” he said. “It’s no different in my family.”

Growing up, he said, there were plenty of male role models, except at home.

“I learned how to use a razor from my best friend’s dad,” he said. “Having two lesbian parents weren’t good for that.”

He said his moms marriage in 2009 — after the Iowa Supreme Court allowed same-sex marriages — gave them the same legal rights other married couples have. That wasn’t the case when Terry Wahls, his biological mother, came down with multiple sclerosis in 2006.

When Reger took her to the emergency room, Zach Wahls said, a doctor ignored Reger’s knowledge of her partner’s condition and ordered unnecessary treatments.

“In the eyes of the law, Jackie wasn’t family,” he said. “She was a stranger.”

That’s why marriage matters, he said.

“Marriage isn’t a political issue,” he said. “Instead, it’s a fundamental issue where families are respected and the message is love.”

Read the full article from The Sioux City Journal.

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Entry filed under: News.

Wahls speaks on the topic of equal marriage Why Marriage Matters


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