WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, May 17, dozens of LGBT families from across American descended upon the nation’s capital to lobby their U.S. Senators and Members of Congress in support of the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman for federal purposes.
The gay, bisexual, and transgendered parents and their children—members of the Family Equality Council—held meetings with about 50 Members of Congress, discussing a range of issues from same sex marriage to adoption and hospital visitation. Zach Wahls, an Iowa man who spoke emotionally last year to lawmakers in his state about the rights, was among those in attendance. He told CNN, “The fact is that not all people who are opposed to same-sex marriage are bigots or hateful or ignorant.”
Wahls, 20, is the author of “My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family.” “I think if we can move past some of these stereotypes on both sides, we’re able to have this real conversation and understand that at the end of the day, my family isn’t looking for some radical change to the law, we’re looking for due process and equal protection,” Wahls added. Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray proclaimed May 17 as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Family Equality Day,” and called upon citizens to support justice and equality for all families.