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Zach Wahls Speech Backs President Who Backs Gay Marriage

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Zach Wahls. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/ FilmMagic)
Zach Wahls. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/ FilmMagic)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Zach Wahls, who rose to Internet stardom with a moving plea before the Iowa legislature on behalf of gay marriage, spoke Thursday at the Democratic National Convention.

Wahls had addressed the Iowa legislature last year as it debated marriage equality and told the story of being brought up by two mothers. Video of his testimony went viral. After the first wave of viewership died down, Upworthy gave it another boost, and the video has since been viewed more than 20 million times.

"Governor Romney says he's against same-sex marriage because every child deserves a mother and a father," Wahls said Thursday night, according to his prepared remarks. "I think every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine. Because the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us; that's what makes a family. Mr. Romney, my family is just as real as yours."

Wahl's full prepared remarks:

I'm a sixth-generation Iowan, an Eagle Scout, and I was raised by my two moms, Jackie and Terry.

People want to know what it's like having lesbian parents. I'll let you in on a secret: I'm awesome at putting the seat down. Otherwise, we're like any other family. We eat dinner, we go to church, we have chores. But some people don't see it that way. When I was 12, watching the 2004 Republican convention, I remember politicians talking about protecting marriage from families like mine.

Now, supporting a view of marriage as between a man and woman isn't radical. For many people, it's a matter of faith. We respect that. Watching that convention on TV, though, I felt confused, frustrated. Why didn't they think my family was a real family?

Governor Romney says he's against same-sex marriage because every child deserves a mother and a father. I think every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine. Because the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us; that's what makes a family. Mr. Romney, my family is just as real as yours.

President Obama understands that. He supports my moms' marriage. President Obama put his political future on the line to do what was right. Without his leadership, we wouldn't be here. President Obama is fighting for our families -- all of our families. He has our backs. We have his.

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