Man who defended same-sex marriage in viral video to run for Iowa state Senate

A man whose speech defending same-sex marriage went viral in 2011 has announced his bid for an Iowa State Senate seat.

Zach Wahls, who was 19 when he made the viral video, gave a powerful speech to the Iowa House of Representatives’s Judiciary Committee about growing up with two moms. The video was YouTube’s most-watched political video that year.

Wahls, now 26, is running as a Democrat to fill the Iowa State Senate seat for the 37th District, which will be vacated by Democrat Bob Dvorsky, who is not seeking reelection.

Wahls announced his campaign on Twitter on Dec. 21, outlining a platform that focuses on more affordable higher education, Medicaid expansion and addressing mental health care.


“I am incredibly conscientious of the fact that I am a straight white guy running in the Me Too moment,” Wahls wrote in the thread. “I am running because I believe all Iowans need a seat at the table. That absolutely means more women running, it means more young people, it means more people of color. This is an all hands on deck situation that is going to determine the future of our state for generations to come — and all hands means all hands.”


A crowdfunding page for Wahls’s campaign has raised more than $30,000 since it was launched last week.

“I want to be a voice for you,” Wahls’s campaign site reads. “I’m an advocate. I know what it’s like to not feel represented by your government. I fought for my family and I want to fight for yours. I’ve always spoken truth to power.”