By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com July 25 2012 8:23 AM ET
The Obama campaign has released a new video in which Iowa marriage equality advocate Zach Wahls shares his family’s reaction on the day the president announced his support for same-sex couples’ right to marry.
In the video posted to the LGBT for Obama site on Tuesday, Wahls says that he called his mother Terry on May 9 after the announcement. She said, “Are you kidding?” before becoming emotional.
“Clearly, it came from a place of conviction,” says Wahls about the president’s statement. “It's something that I really respect about this president, he has said that he will stand with you no matter who you are and no matter where you come from.”
The campaign also released a new ad featuring President Obama on Tuesday called “The Choice.” Notable for its more upbeat tone following weeks of attack ads, the ad contrasts the president’s vision for the economy with that of Mitt Romney, but Obama’s words could also apply to their different positions on marriage equality. The presumptive Republican nominee has endorsed a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
"Over the next four months, you have a choice to make," says Obama. "Not just between two political parties, or even two people. It’s a choice between two very different plans for our country."
"Sometimes politics can seem very small," he says. "But the choice you face, it couldn’t be bigger."
Wahls, meanwhile, is currently taking a break from his studies at the University of Iowa to promote his new book, My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family. He garnered national attention last year when his speech against an attempt to repeal marriage equality in Iowa went viral and received more than two million views online. The repeal attempt failed, and polling indicates that fewer than 10% of voters in conservative Republican districts now view the effort as a priority.
The former Eagle Scout Wahls has also spoken against the ban on gay scouts and leaders in the Boy Scouts of America, which the organization recently affirmed. An editorial in The New York Times last week noted that every president since William Howard Taft has served as the honorary chairman of the group, and called on President Obama to sever this “prestigious tie” to the White House, which “puts the government in the untenable position of implicitly endorsing the discriminatory policies of the Boy Scouts.”