Zach Wahls Becomes First Person with Openly LGBTQ Parents Elected to State Government, Winning Iowa Senate District 37 Race

NEW YORK — Family Equality Council, the nation’s leading advocate for LGBTQ families, and COLAGE, the nation’s only organization for youth and adults in LGBTQIA+ families, congratulate Zach Wahls on winning the election to represent Iowa Senate District 37. As the first person with openly LGBTQ parents to be elected to state government, Wahls’ election marks a significant milestone for the children of LGBTQ families, and a moment LGBTQ parents who have fought for their families’ rights should be proud of.

Video of Zach Wahls’ impassioned speech in opposition to an attempt to invalidate civil unions for same-sex couples in Iowa went viral in 2011, and Zach has since served as co-chair of Family Equality Council’s “Outspoken Generation” program, co-founder of for the LGBTQ community, and participant in COLAGE programs for the children of LGBTQIA+ parents and caregivers.

“LGBTQ parents, like all parents, want our children to believe that they can grow up to be whatever they want to be. Zach’s election victory achieves yet another milestone in helping our families realize how true that dream is,” said The Rev. Stan J. Sloan, CEO of Family Equality Council. “We are so proud of him and are excited to see all that he accomplishes in his new role. Congratulations Zach!”

“People raised in LGBTQIA+ families can now see their perspectives reflected in a way they haven’t before. Zach is a leader in our community, and now a leader in our country. We are thrilled to recognize this as a historical moment, and an important opportunity for the needs and concerns of our families to be heard,” said Jamie Bergeron, Board Chair of COLAGE. “We send proud congratulations to Zach, his family, and his campaign!”

Reached for comment following the election results, Senator-elect Zach Wahls said:

“It’s an enormous honor to have won the trust of voters from all kinds of families in Iowa, and I am especially proud to have made history in tonight’s election. At this fragile moment, it’s critical for families with one or more LGBTQ parents to have strong advocates for our families in elected office. I’m proud to be one of those advocates, and I always will be.”

About Family Equality Council

Family Equality Council advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality Council believes every LGBTQ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at


COLAGE unites youth and adults with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) parents and caregivers into a network of peers and supports them as they nurture and empower each other to be skilled, self-confident, and just leaders in our collective communities. For almost 30 years through virtual and in-person events, COLAGE has united, empowered, and supported youth in LGBTQIA+ families. Learn more at

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Media Contacts:

Ed Harris, Chief Communications Officer, Family Equality Council
646-880-3005 x117  /

Kaley Fry, National Program Director, COLAGE
828-782-1938 /