Lawrence O’Donnell: Fighting For Gay Marriage

This caught my attention for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, Zach Wahls is very well spoken in this speech. I have major respect for him after hearing this. I’m rarely inspired by something I hear in the media.

Secondly, Zach Wahls lives in the same town I live in (Iowa City). From what I read, he has lived here for much of his life. I don’t know if I’ve ever met him, but I think I’ve seen some of his articles before (here is an article he wrote about gay marriage).

In his speech, he mentions going to church. I was curious what church he went to. Iowa City is a very liberal town with many liberal churches, but of course it turns out he goes to the most liberal church in town (a Unitarian-Universalist church). I used to attend that church some years ago. It speaks well for the UU tradition that he was raised in a UU church.

I’m not sure how much coverage his speech will get, but I did notice that he was mentioned last year in an article from The New York Times.

Anyway, I must admit it makes me a bit proud to live in a town that produces such high quality individuals. It also makes me proud of Iowa in general. I really like Iowa. Listening to his speech, I was touched by his expression of Iowa values. I get tired of all the radical politicizing from the Southern states. Iowa is truly the middle of the country, both geographically and ideologically. The Midwest is called the Heartland for a good reason. Some people think of this as just flyover country or just another backwoods rural state, but Zach Wahls’ speech reminds the rest of the country why Iowa has always been one of the most politically influential states.

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I noticed another blog post about gay marriage (by combscp who commented below) and I thought it relevant to Zach’s speech. What is interesting is that Zach is making a conservative argument for gay marriage. From that post, here is Ted Olsen’s article making the case for gay marriage and the following is a video of Maddow interviewing Ted Olsen and David Boies:

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If you want to hear his response to all the attention his speech has received, here are a couple of videos with interviews:

11 thoughts on “Lawrence O’Donnell: Fighting For Gay Marriage

  1. Pingback: Marmalade ~
  2. I was very impressed with Zach’s speech here too, and I’m happy to see it gaining traction online and on TV. It’s these sensible arguments that need to be heard, and they’ll eventually win out.

    On a second note, I’m growing more and more impressed with Lawrence O’Donnell everyday. Losing Keith Olbermann is a blow for MSNBC, but Lawrence has settled into his current position extremely well.

    • What I liked most about Zach’s speech is that he used Middle American values to defend gay rights. He explained that gay people aren’t looking for special treatment. They aren’t asking anyone to solve their problems. They just want to be treated fairly.

      I noticed you have a blog about the conservative defense of gay marriage. It’s interesting how the debate is shifting. I think it’s part of the culture wars losing their popularity partly because people are becoming tired of politicized religion.

      On your second note, I somewhat agree with you. I haven’t watched enough of O’Donnell to yet have an opinion, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen so far. He has a calm demeanor which is refreshing. I’d like to see a discussion between O’Donnell and Thom Hartmann.

    • I liked your post. So, I linked to it in my above post and I added the material you shared.

      I’ve never before heard the conservative argument explained. I guess I’ve understood the basic argument for a long time, but it makes a lot of sense making a distinction between a conservative and liberal defense of gay marriage.

      • It’s a very sensible, level-headed argument that I wouldn’t really have expected to come from what has been a very heated and ideological debate. It could work though, it seems to be anyways, and it frames the argument in a way that may win over more mainstream audiences.

        Thanks for the shout-out!

        • You’re welcome.

          I’ve been paying attention to how the narratives of public debate are shifting. If you want to know where society is heading, you have to find determine which are the developing narratives and the reasons (often demographic) for why the change is happening.

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