Zach Wahls Has Two Mommies and A Lot To Say

Zach Wahls, 19, is a University of Iowa student who gave a remarkable presentation at a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives concerning same-sex marriage. Wahls has two mothers and came to tell legislators about his parents and his life.

Despite such a striking presentation, the resolution passed the Iowa house 62-37.

Here is the language:



A Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution 1 of the State of Iowa specifying marriage between one man and one woman as the only legal union that is valid or recognized in the state.

H.J.R. 6 Section 1. The following amendment to the Constitution of 1 the State of Iowa is proposed: 2 Article I of the Constitution of the State of Iowa is amended by adding the following new section:

Marriage. SEC. 26. Marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state. Sec. 2.

REFERRAL AND PUBLICATION. The foregoing amendment to the Constitution of the State of Iowa is referred to the general assembly to be chosen at the next general election for members of the general assembly, and the secretary of state is directed to cause the same to be published for three consecutive months previous to the date of that election as provided by law.

EXPLANATION. This joint resolution proposes an amendment to the 16 Constitution of the State of Iowa specifying that marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state. The joint resolution, if adopted, would be referred to the next general assembly for adoption a second time before being submitted to the electorate for ratification.

Jonathan Turley

359 thoughts on “Zach Wahls Has Two Mommies and A Lot To Say”

  1. So, if a marriage between a man and a woman is the “only legal union” in the state, what does that do for mergers and acquisitions?

  2. @Tootie

    What church? Really? You really believe all churches are fundamentalist christian churches? MANY churches don’t teach that marriage is between a male and female. I have several close same gender couple friends who are married in the Unitarian Universalist Church, for instance.

    And even if all churches WERE fundamentalist christian, it STILL wouldn’t make it legal, moral, or constitutional to enforce a religious belief with the force of law. It matters not what your god says, because we don’t all believe in your god.

    It is never the government’s purview to enforce religious beliefs. Churches should be free to call marriage whatever they want and to deny it to whoever they like. But government has no authority to ban anything that does not harm the PERSON OR PROPERTY of another. Whatever a mixed gender couple can receive must be available to same gender couples if we are to be a just society.

    Personally, I wonder what church you attended that taught the Jesus approved any human judging the behavior of any other human, since, in my Bible, Jesus says God reserves that for himself alone.

  3. Blouise,
    I was re-reading this thread and I must thank you for your posting of : February 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm . I have been getting very frustrated w/Chan but your response was totally correct and ultimately disarming. It makes me really appreciate your manner and skill in argument….

  4. RE: HenMan, February 11, 2011 at 8:01 pm


    I agree.

  5. It’s a good thing these lengthy comments are printed on internet ether and not on paper. Otherwise, the forests of the Great Northwest would now be the cow pastures of the Great Northwest.

  6. The plot of K-PAX is an enduring plot theme, it goes back toward the dawn of history in various forms, the earliest written version of which I am aware being The Epic of Gilgamesh, which methinks is partly of historical happenings.

    Of all the movies based on this plot theme that I have seen, my favorite is the Argentinian “Man Facing Southeast.” Checking Amazon a few minutes ago, I found one new VHS tape listed at $170.00 and eleven used tapes listed from $17.99 to $118.00.

    I got my VHS tape before it became a collector’s item, for only a few dollars, and a friend made a DVD research fair use archive, and I have informed Amazon that I seek to buy a proper DVD as soon as it becomes possible to do so.

    As with K-PAX, someone from “out there” becomes a psyhiatric hospital inpatient, and, for what it is worth, actually lived a real life remarkably akin to that of Rantes, the man who faced southeast in the movie. Except, I have thus far not ended up as Rantes did.

    When the actual opportunity to become a genuinely valid chronic psychiatric inpatient came to me, I welcomed it, I embraced it, I affirmed it, as I lived it moment by moment, and I found it to be among the very most amazingly remarkable experiences of my life. For it was there that I met the most profoundly beautifully truthful people I have ever met. People so truthful that they did not pretend to believe that the structure of human society has not become so deceptively complex as to be its own, and only, possible enemy. People who were skeptical about everything, and who, much like me, allowed themselves to skeptically believe only that which their skepticism did not allow them to reject.

    I am not alone in this world, yet there are not yet enough of us to be able to effectively share our world with those who may find it more beautiful than anything they yet are able to imagine.

    Autism Triumphant is coming, whether or not it is yet understood by those whose lives have been given the gift of autism limitation. Is there an autism epidemic? So I as-though plead before the court of existence itself.

    I ask that the autism epidemic arrive soon enough and strongly enough that there will be people alive who may be autistic or not as befits each person’s life.

    Before some government officials, in a shared psychotic break, as though push the button; and humanity totally vanishes in a dispersing radioactive cloud.

    What will it take, for humanity’s sake, to realize that the adversarial system is a life and death matter.

    Life and death? There are estimates of more than two hundred million people murdered by the adversarial system and its inescapable wars during the twentieth century.

    How many more millions upon millions of people need the adversarial system murder for humanity to realize that the adversarial system is itself totally adverse to the existence of humanity itself?

    La Kayim! Selah!

  7. “Having sincere beliefs is unavoidable.

    Trusting sincere beliefs may be harmful”

    hence the need for reality testing…but the issue of beliefs may have more pertinence within specific parameters and reciprocating environment. ‘Beliefs’ can be thought of as systems…course then we still need to reconcile the complete lack of respect for other peeps systems ….that may be the most important reconciliation of all!

  8. RE: Woosty’s still a Cat, February 11, 2011 at 12:3RE: 4 am

    above link has a pretty thorough definition of harm.


    Thanks. I find it is an excellent set of definitions and descriptions.

    At the cutting edge, as I find it, of trauma research, is the dawning recognition that harm and brain trauma are synonymous, in that any harm to that of the body which is not the brain is connected to, and affects, the brain in all reasonably intact human beings.

    After I defended my dissertation, a book was published, “Harm Reduction: Pragmatic Strategies for Managing High-Risk Behaviors,” G. Alan Marlatt, ed., The Guilford Press, New York, 1998. From the dust jacket, ” ‘Harm Reduction’ is one of the most important publications in the addictions field in the past quarter-century. … –Mark B. Sobell, PhD ABPP, and Linda C. Sobell, PhD, ABPP, NOVA Southwestern University”

    Thirteen and more years ago, the linkages between society, addiction, and trauma were becoming a valid field of academic study. Yet the word, “trauma” is not to be found in the index of “Harm Reduction…” It took another about-seven years for Robert Scaer’s “The Trauma Spectrum” to be published, the book I find most unambiguously demonstrates the linkages…

    Methinks that:

    Having sincere beliefs is unavoidable.

    Trusting sincere beliefs may be harmful.


    above link has a pretty thorough definition of harm.

    I had relatives that had tickets for the May 1915 Lusitania crossing….something came up and they had to miss the trip…something that at the time may have been interpreted as a ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ event….but then I’m thinkin they changed their minds 😉

  10. RE: Chan L, February 10, 2011 at 10:17 am


    if you dont know good and bad, how do you exercise judgement? If you have no reference, how do you tell if something is good or bad?

    So how do you define harm if you dont know good and bad?


    Forgive me if I here blunder…

    I find Chan’s question to be one of general interest, and here risk answering a question I was not asked…

    1. I do not know good or bad per se, because I always observe that what is good in one situation may be bad in another situation, and “good” and “bad” are aspects of situations and not classifications of objects of any sort.

    A vacuum tube which tests as “bad” on an Eico 666 tube tester may function perfectly in a circuit designed with very wide parameter variation tolerance, while a tube which tests good may have too much cathode emission to work properly in a circuit designed with very narrow parameter tolerance. The art of designing circuits to tolerate wide parameter variation is well described in the book by Keats A. Pullen, “Conductance Design of Active Circuits.”

    2. “Judge and you shall be judged.” As I ask to not be judged, so I judge not at all. Therefore, how to make judgments, good, bad, or else, is absolutely not any aspect of my life.

    What do I do instead of judgment? I do, and only do, non-judgmental evaluation.

    3. I never define harm, for harm is undefinable, being only of denotation, while definitions are only of connotation. I have no need to define harm because I experience it directly and not through any connotative filtering.

    So, if it is true, it is true that it is true.

    And, if it is false, it is true that it is false.

    Thus, one way or another, only truth exists.

    Also, if it is harmful, it is helpful to learn to avoid it.

    And, to learn how to avoid it, it has to happen.

    Thus, truth is simple; falsehood is complex as it would not else exist.


    I keep mentioning as fact my being an ordinary person.

    I am an ordinary person born, as is everyone eise, into a unique life and sequence of life experiences.

    My parents were born at a time when clarity of thinking was profoundly important, and they were both educated in the ways of framing all of life through scientific thought processes. They were vividly aware of the contrast between an external object (denotation or extensional meaning) and its internal mental representation (connotation or intensional meaning).

    Before I was born, my parents had already brought up my brother, for three years, according to their well-considered parenting plan that neither my brother nor I would ever be given at home any way of confusing extensional meaning (which is only of the external object or event) with its associated intensional meaning (which is only of one’s brain internalized modeling of the external object or event).

    One day, when I was about 18 months of age, my dad briefly thought I might have acted defiantly, and he told me of that thought as well as he could, only to find my demonstrating to him that I had not acted defiantly because actually being defiant is impossible.

    That written, who am I? I am an ordinary person, who, as an infant asked to be given the possibility to learn to live according to the teachings of Jesus, and to learn to so live without error. I was raised by scientifically trained parents who were unable to find any scientific evidence that suggested that living according to the actual teachings of Jesus was impossible.

    The actual teachings of Jesus are not what one is told in church and are not what one reads in the Bible. It possible to tell and to write only of connotations. The actual teachings of Jesus are of denotations impossible to put into words. And that is the “miracle” of my never being given access to any way of thinking in words. I think only in denotations as they occur as neurological activity in my brain.

    Say what I say is not true? Go ahead. Demonstrate that what I do is not true, and it would surprise me if such demonstration is possible except as a form of deceptive pseudoscience.

    The Good News is here, it works, I live it, and I do so as an ordinary person and not as a saint, a manifestation or other sort of plausibly exceptional person.

    There is a simple property of truth. It speaks for itself.

    I do not speak for truth, speaking for truth is, for any man or woman or other human as for any combination of humans, forever impossible.

    I tell of the life I have actually lived, to the extent as words of confusion and misunderstanding permit me to tell.

    My doctoral dissertation is a demonstration that, in terms of denotation, the actual teachings of Jesus are exactly as represented in the Bible, they are of the presence of the eternal truth made manifest, truth which speak for itself.

    Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the tragic deaths of my wife’s and my son, Michael Harris, and his wife, Shelly Dukes. They died when their car skidded on black ice into the path of a fully loaded gravel truck on the State Highway 57 curve toward the northeastern end of the Southern Door School grounds, and, because of numerous defective (they were not welded with enough energy to fuse the metal) spot welds in the Mercury Sable automobile they were driving, exploded when their car and the truck collided. One witness to the collision was a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper. According to the coroner’s report, they died when their bodies struck the pavement, which happened as a result of the car’s disintegration due to the defective welds.

    Why do I not fear a suit from the Ford Motor Company for defamation? The Door County Advocate printed a picture of the accident scene, full page in its next edition. No properly welded car of that vintage can possible break apart as that picture, in a newspaper of general circulation, shows.

    Michael was named, when born, Michael Florian Majewski. At his and his wife’s funeral, I said too Michael’s biological parents, “I think we need to be more like a family.”

    I still so think, and I so think that way of all of humanity.

    And I write here what I write as memorial to Michael Harris and Shelly Dukes, who together died on the morning of February 10, 1996, and who were together buried on St. Valentines Day, the day we had planned to celebrate Michael’s 28th birthday, and, instead were allowed to sprinkle Holy Water on their caskets.

    As you read, if you read, the following words, please allow that, to me, they may have connotations differing from your connotations.

    Lord or Kyrie means the denotation of the process of existence.
    Christ or Christe means the connotation of the process of existence.

    Jesus is the name of a person who first set out to learn to live as though in perfect harmony with existence, both in knowledge and in understanding

    Holy Ghost is all that has not yet happened, including all that can never happen.

    Father is the eternal now of existence, the process of existence as it creates itself.

    Son is all of existence which already exists.

    Glory is another word for Thanks.

    World without end is the observable eternal now.

    None of these meanings are unscientific. They belong to no sect, no religion, no religious establishment, no doctrine, no dogma, and to nothing which is capable of dividing any particular person or dividing any person with respect to any other person.

    Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.

    Lord Jesus, hear our prayer!

    For the sake of His sorrowful passion!

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost,
    As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
    World without end.

    Amen. The Eternal Tao now told. Amen.

  11. if you dont know good and bad, how do you exercise judgement?
    Honey, if judgement rested on 1 persons interpretation of either good or bad, we’d all be screwed…but to answer your question, well…I’ve already answered your question 😛

       /ˈdʒʌdʒmənt/ Show Spelled[juhj-muhnt] Show IPA
    an act or instance of judging.
    the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
    the demonstration or exercise of such ability or capacity: The major was decorated for the judgment he showed under fire.
    the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind: Our judgment as to the cause of his failure must rest on the evidence.
    the opinion formed: He regretted his hasty judgment.
    Law .
    a judicial decision given by a judge or court.
    the obligation, especially a debt, arising from a judicial decision.
    the certificate embodying such a decision and issued against the obligor, especially a debtor.
    a misfortune regarded as inflicted by divine sentence, as for sin.
    ( usually initial capital letter ) Also called Last Judgment, Final Judgment. the final trial of all people, both the living and dead, at the end of the world.

  12. Woosty:

    if you dont know good and bad, how do you exercise judgement? If you have no reference, how do you tell if something is good or bad?

    So how do you define harm if you dont know good and bad?

  13. Which is why ‘harm’, and prevention thereof, is a better indicator than whether or not *I* think something good or evil…

  14. “I think it is impossible for man to actually know ‘good or bad’…we are not G*d.”
    Woosty above

    Which does not preclude that we are to exercise judgement in our actions…

  15. Woosty:

    up above, you said that God is the only one to say if something is good or evil.

    “I think it is impossible for man to actually know ‘good or bad’…we are not G*d.”
    Woosty above

  16. Chan, where did I say this?

    “Isnt that what you mean when you say there is no good or bad and that you are not one to judge?”~Chan

  17. Woosty:

    but SM is not against the law if it is between consenting adults. Since there is no good and bad, what am I to do? There are no norms, everything has equal standing. Isnt that what you mean when you say there is no good or bad and that you are not one to judge?

  18. “Sooner or later, someone is going to figure out the mechanism of disrespect and find a solution to the enigma of hatred. That is what my writings on this thread have been about. “~J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E.

    I would venture that disrespect and hatred are not the same thing. Disrespect is either innocent, unconscious or perhaps an active expression of hatred. Hatred can be self-protective and/or may well be a mask for fear. Situational analysis necessary. Disrespect ALWAYS says more about those who employ it than those it is employed against. ALWAYS.

    I’m not sure that eradicating hatred would be a wise thing…just because we don’t know a things purpose does not mean it isn’t necessary. Disrespect however, probably causes more problems than it is worth.especially if it is intentional!
    Chan L 1, February 10, 2011 at 8:07 am


    what if I dont think SM is harmful since there is no good or bad? Then what?

    Chan; If YOU don’t think that, then I suppose you will swiftly learn about the consequences of ‘disrespect’.
    In your case, it may be a good thing and help to elevate your consciousness….;)
    For my part, I would refer you to rules and laws until you have sorted it out….


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