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Advocate and Activist Zach Wahls Announces Bid for Iowa State Senate

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Ask not what your country can do for you; but rather, ask what you can do for your country!” -John F. Kennedy

After a glowing introduction, the very tall young man steps forward to the podium and announces his candidacy to replace a retiring State Senator in a style and physical appearance reminiscent of the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Yet this 26 year old more accurately embodies President Kennedy’s request of Americans from nearly 58 years ago.

In his announcement earlier in the day on his Facebook page, Zach Wahls noted:

“This afternoon, I will launch a campaign for Iowa state Senate District 37, which is where I grew up and the place I call home. The incumbent, Democrat Senator and leader Bob Dvorsky, announced in August he would not be running for re-election. This is an all hands on deck moment for our state, and I am stepping up to do what I believe is the most good I can do. I am running to protect Senator Dvorsky’s legacy and to fight for every single Iowan who feels left behind or left out.”

For those who know Wahls or have followed his advocacy and activism since his bursting onto the Iowa political scene as a 19-year-old University of Iowa engineering student, this is a logical next step in his political journey which  launched with a speech he gave on February 1st, 2011.

Wahls stood before Iowa legislators that day, urging them not to pass a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. His reasons were deeply personal, as the final decision by the lawmakers would impact his his two mothers, Dr. Terry Wahls and her wife Jacqueline Reger. His moms were married after the Iowa Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2009.

Introducing himself as a “sixth-generation Iowan,” Wahls said he had achieved the Boy Scouts’ highest rank of Eagle Scout and attained a 99th percentile on his college aptitude test.

“If I was your son, Mr. Chairman, I believe I would make you very proud,” he testified.

Then he addressed the core issue. “In my 19 years, not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple,” said Wahls. “And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero affect on the content of my character.”

“I’m not really so different from any of your children,” said Wahls. “My family really isn’t so different from yours. After all, your family doesn’t derive its sense of worth from being told by the state, ‘you’re married, congratulations!'”

The video of that speech on YouTube and Facebook went immediately viral propelling the young university student into national prominence that included an appearance later that month on television chat show host Ellen DeGeneres’ widely popular program and then followed with a nationally-televised speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, which saw Barack Obama re-nominated for a second term as President of the United States. Wahls thanked Obama for his support of marriage equality.

Wahls also became a moving force in advocacy and activism for the LGBTQI community. In particular, he—along with Jonathan Hillis and Justin Wilson—founded Scouts for Equality in June of 2012 to actively overturn the ban on gay scouts and leaders by the Boy Scouts of America.

Then, on July 27, 2015, nearly three years after reaffirming its ban on gay members, the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board voted to end the organization’s decades-old national ban on gay adults, while affirming individual units’ ability to select leaders in line with its religious principles. For Wahls, Hillis, and Wilson, it was no small victory.

Wahls and Scouts for Equality went on to launch a vigorous advocacy on behalf of 8-year-old Joe Maldonado, who the Boy Scouts of America expelled from the Cub Scouts because he is transgender, on December 30, 2016. Although the Boy Scouts had never had a policy on transgender boys, after kicking out Maldonado, officials announced that they were relying on birth certificates to determine eligibility.

Nearly a month later, Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh announced that the organization would allow transgender boys into the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Surbaugh said “that moving forward, the BSA would accept the gender listed by parents/guardians on the youth’s application.”

After graduating from the University of Iowa, Wahls enrolled in a post graduate program in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. 

In addition to his advocacy work along with his younger sister, Zebby, he launched a KickStarter crowd-fundraising effort in 2016 to promote and sell playing cards that featured influential women such as Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Beyoncé, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and others. Two bonus cards were added in the initial run which featured Ellen DeGeneres and Betty White as jokers. The cards were wildly successful and sold out in their first run.

If his journey thus far is any indication, then there’s a very high probability that voters in his home district will send him to Des Moines to represent them in November of 2018.

To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.

Image courtesy Scouts for Equality, used with permission. 

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WHY DOES TUCKER CARLSON HATE AMERICAN FAMILIES?

Pete Buttigieg Brilliantly Destroys Tucker Carlson After Fox Host’s Homophobic Hit Job

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg responded to Fox News host Tucker Carlson‘s vile, homophobic attack from Thursday night, by defending the right of every new parent to take paternity or maternity leave and spend time building bonds that will last a lifetime.

Buttigieg, known for being able to incisively carve up conservative hate, had no problem correcting Carlson’s claims.

Carlson, who regularly spreads white nationalistic, white supremacist, and fascistic rhetoric that clearly is supported by Fox News chiefs Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch, on Thursday berated Buttigieg for taking paternity leave as he and his husband, Chasten welcome two newborn twins into their family.

“Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child,” Carlson had told Fox news viewers. “Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breastfeed – no word on how that went.”

Buttigieg struck back on Friday, telling MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace Carlson’s “attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk.”

Related: Tucker Carlson and Naomi Wolf Blasted for Claiming No One ‘Moralized’ Against HIV/AIDS Patients in the ’80s

Carlson, in his college yearbook, reportedly wrote that he was a member of the “Dan White Society.” There is no Dan White Society, but Dan White is the man who assassinated Harvey Milk, one of America’s first openly-gay elected officials. At the same time, in 1978, he also assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Moscone.

“So, you know, obviously we know that there’s some dark places where some of these attitudes come from,” Buttigieg continued.

“But I also note that that doesn’t speak for the country,” he said of Carlson’s homophobic and anti-family remark.

“I don’t think that even speaks for most people, on the other side of the aisle from the party that I belong to. This is largely a consensus issue, not just the support for families like mine to have a right to marry and right to be treated equally, but also that families in general. Moms and dads have to be able to support their children including with paid leave.”

Buttigieg, as NCRM reported Thursday night, is correct: 86% of Americans support paid paternity leave. And seven out of 10 Americans support same-sex marriage.  Sadly, U.S. federal law does not require companies to offer it, but as Wallace noted, Tucker Carlson’s employer does.

Watch:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘We Warned You’: Jenna Ellis Destroyed by Legal Expert for Comparing Herself and Giuliani to Atticus Finch

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Former Trump personal and campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis is getting blowback from at least one top legal expert after she falsely compared herself and her colleague, Rudy Giuliani, to fictional hero attorney Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and to founding father John Adams.

“No, you are not John Adams. You are not Atticus Finch. Competent lawyers warned you to stay away from the election lawsuits,” said top national security attorney Bradley Moss. “We warned you loyalty to a conspiratorial client [doesn’t] override ethical obligations to the court. It’s on you.”

Ellis, in video posted by Right Wing Watch (below), claimed that she and Giuliani were merely “advocating” for “politically inconvenient candidates” like Trump, which is provably false.

Giuliani, according to numerous news reports, wasn’t defending Trump so much as he was traveling the world trying to dig up dirt on Joe Biden to help Trump win re-election. When that didn’t work Giuliani (and Ellis) promoted false election “fraud” narratives, which is not advocacy for a client.

“It used to be that if you represented the politically inconvenient candidates or the, the politically inconvenient, people I mean look at ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ you know, it was like you were you were lauded as a defense attorney, like John Adams, you know, who represented people who deserve a defense,” Ellis said.

“This has such an impact on the future of America,” Ellis continued, “because if we tell lawyers that in order to advocate for a client, that means that necessarily you have to subscribe to their position, you will be you will be liable for your bar license essentially based on not only the merit of their case but the outcome, then we won’t have advocates anymore in the United States.”

Again, that is not a reality-based response to what she and Giuliani were doing.

Moss, meanwhile, was far from the only attorney criticizing Ellis.

Former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Richard Signorelli, commented, “Jenna is lucky she wasn’t given any actual lawyerly responsibilities.”

Atlanta appellate attorney Andrew Fleischman weighed in, saying, “It’s good for people to get due process before being convicted of things. It’s bad to file dozens of frivolous, dishonest lawsuits. That’s the distinction.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Trump’s MAGA Supporters Chant Profanities Within ‘Clear’ Earshot of Young Kids Biden Was Talking to Outdoors

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Trump’s MAGA supporters were out in full force Friday afternoon, chanting “F**k Biden,” waving flags with the same slogan, along with ones that falsely claim “Trump won,” as President Joe Biden spoke with young children outside a Connecticut child development center.

“Around 50 more Trump supporters,” according to the White House press pool, “gathered a street away from the center. They chanted ‘F*** Joe Biden. He’s not our president.’ They also shouted ‘traitors’ as a coda while we walked inside.”

Minutes later the press pool reported President Biden “entered the playground at 1:25, greeted by some gregarious children. One gave him a hug, as he kneeled to talk. Another, wearing an American flag t-shirt, pointed out parts of the playground.”

But then, confirmation that the Trump supporters’ profanity could be heard by the young children and the President.

“From the playground the pool could still hear protesters chanting from the curb outside. More expletives. More yelling,” the pool reports.

NBC News White House Correspondent Mike Memoli also confirms:

President Biden later made televised remarks promoting his “Build Back Better” agenda, and talking about how improvements to infrastructure will help young children.

 

 

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