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LGBTQ Group Applauds Democrat Zach Wahls' Win In Senate District 37 Primary

Zach Wahls via facebook

Iowa’s largest LGBTQ rights group is celebrating the primary election victory of advocate Zach Wahls in Eastern Iowa’s Senate District 37. 

As a 19 year old college student in 2011, Wahls stood up in front of a committee of Iowa lawmakers to defend gay marriage and his experience growing up with two moms. 

"We're Iowans. We don't expect anyone to solve our problems for us. We'll fight out own battles," Wahls told lawmakers at the time, "we just hope for equal and fair treatment from our government."

At the time, the Iowa lawmakers were considering House Joint Resolution 6, which would've outlawed gay marriage in the state. The Iowa Supreme Court had upheld the right to same-sex marriage in 2009.

Now Wahls is a step closer to becoming one of those lawmakers.


One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel says the 26 year old could be a major LGBTQ ally in the statehouse.

“Having more and more allies at the capitol I think is a really good thing, no matter if they’re a Democrat or a Republican. And I think that’s something that we’re continuing to see more and more elected officials being willing to speak out on LGBTQ issues,” Hoffman-Zinnel said.

Hoffman-Zinnel said he sees Wahls' success as part of a broader change in how Iowans perceive the LGBTQ community.

“We’ve seen really a shift in hearts and minds in support of the LGBTQ community, especially within the last few years. So to see more and more candidates speak out in support of the LGBTQ community is something that we’re really excited about,” he said.

Wahls beat out candidates Janice Weiner, Eric Dirth and Imad Youssif in the competitive Democratic primary. He’ll face Libertarian Carl Krambeck in November. There is no Republican in the race.