116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Zach Wahls -- the Iowan whose personal testimony in support of marriage equality went viral last year -- is now partnering with the state's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy group to spread his message of equality for all families.
According to the advocacy group One Iowa, the former University of Iowa student will travel to cities across the state to speak at parties and other gatherings about same-sex marriage starting in August and again in December.
"We have been working with [Wahls'] family since before his video went viral and he became this big Youtube sensation," said Molly Tafoya, communications director for One Iowa. "He has become a huge advocate ever since."
In January 2011, Wahls shared his testimony of growing up with two mothers in front of the Iowa House of Representatives. The video of his appeal gained more than 2 million views on Youtube and secured him an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and other media outlets.
Wahls' speaking tour for One Iowa is part of the group's public education campaign, Why Marriage Matters Iowa. According to a release, the campaign aims to gain statewide support for same sex marriage by promoting conversations.
In addition to speaking in cities this August, Tafoya said Wahls' involvement in December will include college campus outreach for the "Home for the Holidays" program. The focus of "Home for the Holidays" is to equip students to effectively talk about marriage equality while at home over winter break, Tafoya said.
"Zach [will be] a messenger to reach out to more college students who can then become ambassadors of equality," Tafoya said. "...Have them bring these messages of love and family to their homes and hometowns wherever they may be."
A more detailed schedule for Wahls' speaking events with One Iowa will be released soon, Tafoya added.
Wahls said on Wednesday he was unable to comment on the partnership, pending the release of his book. The book, My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family, is set to be published April 26.
In a press release, Wahls expressed support for One Iowa's mission.
“My heart is in Iowa and I am committed to protecting marriage equality here in my home state,” Wahls said in the release. “I can only hope that by sharing my story and talking about my family and our values, that I can reach more Iowans and dispel myths about families like mine.”
Watch Wahls' testimony in the Iowa House last year: