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Wahls promotes marriage equality
"No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you have the opportunity to live this dream," said Zach Wahls, a LGBTQ activist, during his one-hour long speech on April 2. More than 135 people came to listen to Zach speak about America and marriage equality.
Even though the speech was part of social work program Social Work Reads and aimed at students majoring in social work, the audience included people outside of Mount Mercy University. Flaherty Community Room in Basile Hall was so packed that students who came just few minutes before the beginning had to leave because there were no seats left.
Wahls was born in Iowa and grew up in a family with two mothers. His 2011 testimony before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee, a hearing proposing a ban of gay marriages, went viral, and has over 18.5 million views. Since then Wahls has appeared on CNN, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and on the Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.
He also wrote book "My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family." Wahls said that he is thinking about writing another book also related to same-sex marriages.
Zach is not the only member active in the Wahls family. His biological mother Terry Wahls, an internal medicine physician, according to www.zachwahls.com, became a healthy diet advocate. was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000 and managed to heal herself through a nutritious diet. The long-lasting illness of his mother influenced Zach as well, and he addressed it in his speech.
"(This conversation) is about whether or not we want to live in a country that tells people that your love is not real and legitimate because you have the same gender," he remarked when telling a story about how his mother almost died because the doctors did not want to recognize her partner and did not listen to her explain the medical issues.
The speech, full of personal stories, lasted over an hour and ended with the numerous questions from the audience. The event lasted over an hour and a half. Wahls received a round of hearty applause.
'The Comedy of Errors'
to take the stage this weekend
The Mount Mercy University Drama Department will present "The Comedy of Errors," the story of a young girl and her servant trying to locate both of their identical twins separated at birth.
The play will run Friday through Sunday in McAuley Theatre. The shows will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Sunday's show will be at 2:30 p.m. Students, faculty and staff can get one free ticket at the information desk. Additional tickets will cost $10.
Jason Alberty, drama coordinator, said although the play will be presented in the original language, it shouldn't be too hard to understand.
"Elizabethan English is just an earlier form of modern English," said Alberty. "It's not really that far removed from what we speak today. We just freak out about it because it's not that easy. Honestly, it's like me listening to rap or death metal. Give me a few minutes and my ear will tune in and start picking it up."
The twin Antipholas will be played by junior Gwyn Wiese and sophomore Hillary Kaefring. The twin Dromios will be played by senior Jarod Heims and sophomore Tanner Retzlaff. Originally, both sets of twins were males.
"Because the student body is really female-heavy I've had to play around with gender swapping," said Alberty. "In fact most of the male roles are now played by women and most of the female roles are played by men. But I like that. It creates a funky gender-dynamic."
Alberty chose this play because he wanted to do something funny. It also gives him the chance to direct the play for the first time.
"The pure ridiculousness of this show is timeless," said junior Danny Wayson, who plays Luciano. "Anybody can understand and appreciate it."