1. Who cares says

    When will queers learn? You can’t argue away homophobia because bigotry is irrational. You can’t “enlighten” away discrimination. You can only fight it and end it.

  2. Henry blackman says

    That’s a speech. What perfect words.

    I can only imagine how proud his parents are of him.

  3. E. says

    What a fantastic speech! And a great guy. Clearly his parents did a wonderful job. To me it’s simply impossible to listen to Zach and think that there is any rational justification whatsoever for treating gay couples and families differently than anyone else.

  4. Francis says

    So amazing. And who cares, I agree with you to a certain extent but a lot of bigotry is based on ignorance. Remove that ignorance, and that bigotry will be removed from the minds of many. That’s why you see such a big difference between the younger and older generations on this issue, ignorance.

  5. Edd says

    The sexual orientation of his parents has had a GREAT effect in the content of his character. They brought up a GREAT kid and they brought him up right!!

  6. DN says

    I saw this guy in the highlight reel you posted earlier – thanks for putting up the entire speech.

    After feeling down about today’s vote for a couple hours, I remembered that when a similar no-gay-union-of-any-kind constitutional amendment went to Arizona voters in 2006, even this rabidly conservative state said no.

    Not saying we should be cocky or unconcerned, but really, I don’t think the voters will go for this even once – let alone the two votes required to amend the Iowa constitution.

  7. PLAINTOM says

    The question is Candidate(fill in the blank) Why are you voting to destroy great American Families—-roll the video!!!

  8. says

    @WhoCares: He is fighting discrimination, by telling the truth of his family. Irrational bigotry doesn’t stand up to his truth. It may not have changed many votes today, but stories like his change minds over time. Hearings like this–and other public forums, and pro-equality booths at the state fairs etc.–were very effective for our side in VT, and now there is no going back. The same can be true in IA.

    Bravo, Zach. And bravo to your Moms for raising such a thoughtful and articulate kid.

  9. Ian says

    Loved this kids message!!! A bit dissappointed,hHis delivery was not that great for me…do they have Brooklyn accents in Iowa? He’s got the looks and the message, just needs to relax, polish his delivery, and learn how to connect with people, and this kid will be a great speaker!

  10. John says

    Please Andy get this clip over to Rachel Maddow as this needs to go viral! We need to support this young man in every way, and yes we need more like him and his generation to get involved in our political system. Its the only way equality will take place. We saw a tremendous turnout in 2008 by the youth who wanted to make a statement against the establishment. It cant be a one time event, and men and women like Zach will inspire that generation to continue fighting the establishment.

  11. One of the CA 36,000 says

    @DN: I’m not so sure. Ignorant Southerners and Midwesterners hate them Teh Gheyz something fierce. They TOLD us we were deviant and hell-bound, and did we go straight like they told us to?

    No. We moved away from those sh!tholes and learned we were NOT worthless. And we became successful and happy and managed to keep our looks and make lots and lots of very interesting friends and travel and become good people. And they didn’t.

    But they can still make our lives miserable, because they feel like it. Because they’re fundamentalist Christian and/or Catholic a$$holes.

  12. Dan says

    Holy crap, that was an astonishingly magnificent speech. Wow, just wow. His delivery was PERFECT. I’m choked up at how good that was. The more people who see that clip, the better.

  13. patrick nyc says

    ANDY you know I’ve said it before, now I’m at it again. Thank you for sharing this wonderful slice of where we are, and how far we have gone. Made my day sir.

  14. gr8guyca says

    Great speech and great kid.

    Of course, we can be sure that he’s not gay. No self-respecting gay guy would wear a light grey suit, a dark blue shirt, and a white tie.

  15. Paul R says

    I can’t believe that even the contrarian trolls on this site could criticize this guy. He’s 19. I couldn’t deliver a speech that effective and I’m twice his age.

  16. Edd says

    From IAN “A bit dissappointed,hHis delivery was not that great for me…do they have Brooklyn accents in Iowa? He’s got the looks and the message, just needs to relax, polish his delivery, and learn how to connect with people, and this kid will be a great speaker!”

    @IAN He wasn’t making that speech for you. The speech was for the people in that room. And judging from the sound of the applause he recieved, his message was heard and understood by the people in THAT room, and the other people on this board who are sending congratulatory remarks his way. Who the hell are you to tell him he needs to work on his speech delivery/techniques.
    You Ian, are the weakest link! Goodbye!!

  17. sww says

    Well spoken, yes of course, but this guy should have the right to be a jerk, not well spoken, and have gay parents who are married and file a joint IRS form if they choose.

  18. MajorTom says

    Zach may not have changed any votes today, but he put every legislator who voted for this bill on notice that they do not get to claim the moral high ground just because they voted for the Christian “family values” position. Indeed, a ballot vote will be won or lost by whether it is made clear to the people of Iowa that voting to discriminate is morally reprehensible. I think that Zach’s speech should be used to help drive home the point. Ultimately this young man could make a huge difference in how this plays out. Either way, Zach’s courage and character are to be applauded. As FAEN posted earlier, “What an awesome kid!”

  19. Rich says

    As the freaks of NOM and FRC race to the state to throw their machine of ignorance, bigotry and hate into high gear.

  20. deen says

    To Ian-
    Are you kidding me?
    This was not a contest

    He is Brilliant

    What have you done in speaking for this subject?
    Any clips you could share so we can see how you do &
    how it should be done?

  21. Zlick says

    Sure, there were a few signs of hurry-up in his speech. D’uh. I’m sure there was a pretty strict time limit, and he was duly conscious of that. How many of us would not have had a few “like”s and “um”s if we had 3 minutes to change the world with our voice? ūüėČ

    I’m as impressed as anyone with young Zach. I’ve spread the YouTube of his speech as far and wide as I can. Its awesomeness should be witnessed by everyone.

  22. tcw says

    This is nice. But knowing that David Geffen and Elton John are pushing for gay marriage makes me oppose it.

  23. tinhouston says

    Way to go my boy!!!
    (I wish) Great job. Next time i’m in IaCity, i will look you up! :)
    but seriously—a heartfelt expression that Rachel should be aware and include in her comments very soon.

  24. pat says

    Where are the folks looking to bring back segregation & the end of interracial marriages? I wanna see that stuff up on the ballot initiatives.

  25. Rick S. says

    I can’t believe he’s 19; one is lucky to be this articulate and confident at 29. What a tribute to gay parenting!

    And Ian, even if you are a genius at analyzing public speaking, there are moments in which you should keep your petty nitpicking to yourself.

  26. says

    If this is the man that can be raised by gay parents then we should all be raised by gay parents.
    What a sense of fairness and equality he speaks of.
    If he were my son I would be beyond pride, I would extatic to see and hear his maturity.

  27. Rick says

    Wow, we need more speeches like this to show the “old white men” in government that we ARE all pretty much the same ‚Äď no matter WHO raises you.

  28. John says

    This young man has his act together… very impressive. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him running for president in 2028!

  29. Mark in Ontario says

    To Zach’s Moms: You must be bursting with pride. You absolutely should be. You have raised an amazing young man. Wow! Congratulations on your amazing contibution to the multi-coloured fabric of society.

  30. TANK says

    Hmmm… A tall, handsome, thoughtful, passionate, articulate, charming young guy who probably has a really hot body and fills his Calvin Kleins in a very appealing way makes a fine speech, and all of the pathetic middle-aged queens around here act like he parted the Red Sea or something. Yeah, this kid is awesome on all kinds of levels, but if that same speech had come out word for word from a shy, short, fat, unsexy guy, I just wonder how many of the bitchy creeps on this site would be laying on the compliments so thick.

  31. Matt26 says

    I loved it! Brilliant, passionate, logical! His moms must be so proud. He has been raised very well.

  32. walter says

    if this is the product of a gay family compare to the product of a straight family the arizona shooter give me the children of the gay family any time

  33. Dr.C says

    I, too was raised by a gay mom. I have a Ph.D., my sibling is a geophysicist, and my other sibling is an award winning illustrator. Kudos to gay parents!!!

  34. CoMo'mo says

    He is, indeed, remarkable. The love in his family must run thick as honey. Unless I overlooked something, or it was in the print version of the Des Moines Register and not online–there was no specific reference to his speech, so much more eloquent and human and humane than some of what came from the Other Side.

  35. Dave says

    Gay parents are typically parents who want to be parents, it is an intentional decision and thus they tend to do a great job. Sadly straight couples often find that they have a little accident that they do not really want and are unprepared to handle. My gut tells me that any study on the matter would find that on examination, gay parents do a much better job at parenting than straight parents.

  36. chris keck says

    my first post on this website and i’m just so glad to see a ‘kid’ who is this articulate speak out for common sense. i know his family is bursting with pride.. wonder how long it will be ellen contacts him for an appearance….

  37. Danny says

    @ian: For Christs’s sake–he’s 19. He’s not running for office; he was testifying in a hearing.

    Why the f**k do so many gay people have to fault-find even in their allies?

  38. Rational says

    And ONE OF THE CA 36,000 calls them bigots? You paint every Christian and Catholic with your hate speech. Just goes to show you that no community is sans bigoted hate mongers, even the ones claiming to be the victims.

  39. Homer says

    @WhoCares – you’re right, in a way. We can’t argue away homophobia or discrimination when it is so ingrained in the characters of so many. But then again, to paraphrase Tony Kushner, the world only moves forward. Hate will die out with the hate mongers and kids like Zach will continue articulating for other families and other kids until equality or, at the very least, a palpable semblance of it is achieved.

  40. Homer says

    @Tank – bitchy is as bitchy does.

    When you focus on the one aspect of the post that seems to matter the least, you lose sight of the whole picture. The kid was there defending his family – that’s the bottom-line. And that’s what he was admired for.

    And if you can’t see past how “his Calvins” have stirred up the “aging queens” of the site, one can also chalk it up as “projection.”

  41. TANK says


    I’m sitting here on my terrace laughing my ass off. Yeah, I guess I’m “middle aged,” if that age group includes 36 year olds with great butts now. And hey, let’s try to have an intelligent debate on this site and not stoop to bitchy, stereotypical queeny personal insults.


    Hey, if you read my post carefully, you would have seen that I said that yeah, I agree with the herd here, that this kid is really awesome in all kinds of ways. But I still think that a lot of the bitter and pathetic old queens who hang around this site like vampires in search of fresh blood admire this guy for reasons that have nothing to do with his speech. He’s a bit too twinkish for me but hey, if some of the Liberace wannabes around here get turned on by him, that’s cool. But let’s just be honest and not delude ourselves.

  42. Adrian says


    You should’ve just not gone there from the start. You were the first one to stoop to that level, not that I’m surprised.

  43. just a guy says

    Tank, you amuse me and are totally missing the boat on this one, tho. This kids’ moms r amazing.

  44. Homer says

    Hi Tank – nobody’s saying that you trashed the kid but what is unfortunate is that your praise for what he did was buried under the more glaring criticism of what you think are the predatory habits of the post’s readers/commenters. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen or that the kind of people you slammed don’t exist but there is a time and an occasion for everything.

  45. says

    The Gingers of Iowa are running scared fearful that redheads are next in line to have their rights taken from them .. Then the left handed people ….

  46. bsmart2 says

    Young men like Zach will go forward and will make a difference in this country. One of the things I am very pleased of, is no one has made any statements regarding Zachs sexual orientation. Straight, gay or even a-sexual Zach has a very promising future and I wish him and his family only the best in the future.

  47. willie t boned says

    Wow, we need more speeches like this to show the “old white men” in government that we ARE all pretty much the same ‚Äď no matter WHO raises you.

    Posted by: Rick | Feb 2, 2011 6:12:07 AM

    Rick is the men and woman of all races that put the bigots into office ….a large percent of black folks are anti-gay equality you know = even the President with his “civil unions” BS.

  48. jamal49 says

    Brought tears to my eyes. I am so very hopeful for this generation of children raised by gay parents. I hope I shall live to see the end of discrimination against all LGBT people.

  49. getalife says

    Look at that horribly-fitting blazer. Aren’t the dangers of having lesbian parents pretty obvious?

  50. Miguel Yopolo says

    I am so proud and happy that finally, somebody has the courage to talk about his family, his homosexual parents; special in USA a country where the intolerance, hipocrit society are against the reality; special the Churches. I’ve been in other english spoken countries and I realized that USA is the only one who are against them own citizens, LGTB in USA are the second class citizens and the Congress Representatives and the Goverment, ruling this country like two hundreds years ago. It’s ashamed for a country who are proud to be the land of liberty for everyone, but not for gays, that’s DISCRIMINATION!