The University of North Dakota University Program Council will sponsor Zach Wahls, gay marriage rights activist, who will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, in the Memorial Union Ballroom.
The son of two lesbian mothers, the 19-year-old University of Iowa engineering student had no idea that his testimony on Iowa legislation would spark an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Daily Show, and a speaking spot at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Just two days after he testified in Iowa on gay marriage equality, a YouTube video of his testimony went viral, garnering more than 17 million views, with millions more via Facebook, Twitter, national and international television, and other online media.
An Eagle Scout, Wahls has targeted the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gays and lesbians as scout leaders. On May 30, 2012, at the Boy Scout’s National Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, he delivered petitions with 275,000 signatures in support of Jennifer Carol from Bridgeport, Ohio, who was forced to resign as a den mother because she is a lesbian, and then met with two of the organization’s board members.
Wahls will discuss what it was like growing up and how it shaped the man he is today.
In light of UND’s efforts to increase diversity on campus, Zach Wahls will strengthen the relationship between the University and the GLBTQ community. Zach Wahls shows us that you don’t have to be a person of fame or wealth to make a difference within this world and help make it a better place. All it takes is one person to stand up for what they believe in. Even though we all come from diverse backgrounds, we all share the same dreams for our families. Our goal is that Zach’s story offers first hand education to the UND student body about marriage equality and that ignites a spark within student to challenge their thoughts about marriage equality.
David L. Dodds
Media Relations/Writer and Editor
Office of University Relations
264 Centennial Drive Stop 7144
Grand Forks, ND 58202-7144
701.777.5529| 701.777.4616 fax