Years After Defending His Two Moms, Zach Wahls Wins Nomination For State Senate

Zach Wahls

It was just days after I launched The Randy Report that 19-year-old Zach Wahls of Iowa stood up in front of state lawmakers to introduce his two mothers as he argued for marriage equality in his state.

It was one of the most moving speeches I’d ever seen.

“I’m not really so different from any of your children. My family really isn’t so different from yours. After all, your family doesn’t derive its sense of worth from being told by the state, ‘You’re married—congratulations!’ No, the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other, to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones; it comes from the love that binds us. That’s what makes a family.”

Speaking to legislators about the importance of marriage equality to his family, Zach was beyond poised and focused. Here’s the speech:

The Advocate called it “the most popular political video of 2011.”

In 2012, the handsome 20-year-old Wahls released his book, My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family.

Last night, now-26-year-old Zach won his primary in Iowa as he runs to become a state senator in Iowa’s District 37. The woofy Wahls garnered 60% of the vote in his race.

Wahls moves on to the November election to fill the seat vacated by Democratic Sen. Bob Dvorsky, who announced his retirement after more than 30 years in the Iowa legislature.

If Wahls wins the seat, he will be one of the youngest people to ever serve in the state Senate.

Miami Beach Honors Man Who Defended Gay Couple During Pride Parade Attack

Helmut Muller Estrada (center) honored for defending a gay couple in homophobic attack after Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade
Helmut Muller Estrada (center) honored for defending gay couple
in homophobic attack after Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade

When Dmitry Logunov and Rene Chalarca were attacked by four men after the Miami Beach Pride Parade earlier this month, a good samaritan named Helmut Muller Estrada jumped in to defend the gay couple.

His actions helped to contain the incident even though he found himself with his own hospital-level injuries requiring stitches to his head.

At the time, Estrada told CBS Miami: “To step up for those guys, I thought it was the right thing to do. I try my best. On sex and religion, I hope they get along someday.”

On Wednesday, the City of Miami Beach honored Estrada with a Miami Beach medallion.

Speaking at the ceremony,  Commissioner Michael Gongora cited Estrada for “for acts of heroism, bravery and significant contributions to our city.”

The four men who attacked Chalarca and Logunov turned themselves in to police and face possible felony assault charges.

Watch the report from the local CBS affiliate in Miami below:

Nyle DiMarco Wins Dancing With The Stars

Now,  if I’m posting this – you know 🙂

Nyle DiMarco, the deaf “sexually fluid” model who came to DWTS as the final champion of America’s Next Top Model, was awarded the Mirror Ball Trophy Tuesday.

UFC Fighter Paige VanZant came in second place, and Good Morning America’s Ginger Zee came in third.

“This is such an amazing feeling,” said DiMarco’s partner Peta Murgatroyd after winning. “This whole thing has been so incredible because of this man. I owe everything to him.”

Houston Mayor Annise Parker Responds To Texas Supreme Court Ruling On Equal Rights Ordinance

Houston Mayor Annise Parker issued this statement via press release regarding the Texas state Supreme Court’s ruling that Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance must be repealed or put to a vote this November:

“Obviously, I am disappointed and believe the court is in error with this eleventh hour ruling in a case that had already been decided by a judge and jury of citizens.

“Nonetheless, we will proceed with the steps necessary for City Council to consider the issue. At the same time, we are consulting with our outside counsel on any possible available legal actions.

“Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance is similar to measures passed by every other major city in the country and by most local corporations. No matter the color of your skin, your age, gender, physical limitations, or sexual orientation, every Houstonian deserves the right to be treated equally. To do otherwise, hurts Houston’s well-known image as a city that is tolerant, accepting, inclusive and embracing of its diversity.

“Our citizens fully support and understand this and I have never been afraid to take it to the voters. We will win!”

Houston: Anti-Gay Activists Fail To Gather Enough Signatures To Repeal LGBT Protections

Back story: Last May, Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston City Council approved Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) providing for LGBT protections in the areas of public and private employment, housing and city contracting.

Anti-gay foes hated that. They began a drive to put the ordinance to a vote hoping to repeal the protections. They needed 17,269 signatures, or 10 percent of the ballots cast in the last mayoral election.

After turning in what seemed to be more than enough signatures, it turns out the opponents were 585 signatures short.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

Opponents of Houston’s non-discrimination ordinance failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a repeal referendum, a state district judge ruled Friday, validating city officials’ decision to toss out the petition foes submitted last summer.

After separate rulings from both a jury and state District Judge Robert Schaffer, attorneys for both sides entered dueling counts of the valid signatures, adding and subtracting voters as Schaffer responded to motions. By early this week, the counts were closer together than ever before, fewer than 1,000 signatures apart.

Ultimately, Schaffer on Friday ruled the final count of valid signatures was 16,684, leaving opponents short of the threshold required in the city charter of 17,269 signatures, or 10 percent of the ballots cast in the last mayoral election.

“The jury’s verdict and the judge’s ruling are a powerful smack-down against the forces of discrimination and intolerance,” said Geoffrey Harrison, lead attorney for the city, in a statement. “And maybe, just maybe, they’ll reconsider their misguided ways.”

Opponents, largely conservative activists and pastors whose objections center on the protections the law extends to gay and transgender residents, are expected to appeal the ruling.

World War II Hero mans his station naked after saving Marine’s life

)Photo by Horace Bristol, 1944)

From RareHistoricalPhotos.com:

This young crewman of a US Navy “Dumbo” PBY rescue mission has just jumped into the water of Rabaul Harbor to rescue a badly burned Marine pilot who was shot down while bombing the Japanese-held fortress of Rabaul.

Since Japanese coastal defense guns were firing at the plane while it was in the water during take-off, this brave young man, after rescuing the pilot, manned his position as machine gunner without taking time to put on his clothes.

A hero photographed right after he’d completed his heroic act. Naked.

Photographer Horace Bristol remembers the event:

“…we got a call to pick up an airman who was down in the Bay. The Japanese were shooting at him from the island, and when they saw us they started shooting at us. The man who was shot down was temporarily blinded, so one of our crew stripped off his clothes and jumped in to bring him aboard. He couldn’t have swum very well wearing his boots and clothes. As soon as we could, we took off. We weren’t waiting around for anybody to put on formal clothes. We were being shot at and wanted to get the hell out of there. The naked man got back into his position at his gun in the blister of the plane.”

Guests at the State of the Union Address – Duck Dynasty and an American hero

Via Teabonics

In a study in contrasts, at last night’s State of the Union address, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted and sat next to Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who was wounded in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan.

Praising the 30-year-old Army Ranger, President Obama introduced the Ranger saying “like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, SFC Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit.”  The introduction was the emotional highlight of the address.

Over on the GOP side of guests for the evening, Willie Robertson, of “Duck Dynasty” fame, attended at the invitation of Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.

Things that make you go “hmm….”