Nineteen-year-old Zach Wahls has
rejected praise for standing up for his family.
Zach was one of the hundreds of people
who testified Tuesday during an Iowa House hearing on a proposed
measure that aims to repeal the state's gay marriage law.
If approved by lawmakers and voters in
2013, the Iowa Marriage Amendment (IMA) would ban gay marriage, civil
unions, domestic partnerships and any government recognition of gay
and lesbian couples in the state.
Zach, a University of Iowa student,
lawmakers that the sense of family comes “from the commitment we
make to each other” not the legal recognition offered by the
government. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this
Appearing alongside his mothers –
Terry and Jackie – and sister, Zebby, Thursday
night on MSNBC's The
Last Word, Zach told Lawrence O'Donnell that “if it was
your family that was being told it didn't have the legal right to
exist in your state, I think you'd have done the same thing.”
When asked how she felt about what her
son had done, Terry said, “It still brings tears to my eyes
watching the talk, hearing the praise, the commentary coming from
friends and people around the globe.”
Zach's pleas to lawmakers, however,
went largely unheard. Three
Democrats joined 59 Republicans in voting in favor of the resolution
later in the day.