Campus Pride Blog

Zach Wahls, marriage equality advocate and straight ally, to receive national award, keynote at 2012 Camp Pride LGBT Young Adult Summer Leadership Program

Wahls, thrust into spotlight after impassioned speech defending his two mothers, to be awarded honorary Voice & Action Award at Campus Pride’s Summer Leadership Camp

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REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!
Registration for the sixth annual Camp Pride, July 17-22, 2012, is now open. An early discounted rate of $815 is available through May 1. Scholarships for free registration are also available. A special “Advisory Bootcamp” track for LGBT and ally faculty advisors is also available. Students and advisors can register online or learn more about scholarship opportunities at www.campuspride.org/camppride/

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Iowa native Zach Wahls, whose speech on his state house’s floor on behalf of his mothers and marriage equality inspired millions, will speak as a guest keynote and receive an honorary Voice & Action National Leadership Award at Camp Pride (www.campuspride.org/camppride/), the national summer leadership program for young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight ally student leaders held July 17-22, 2012, at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University.

Wahls’ Jan. 31, 2011, speech in front of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee went viral on YouTube and other social media outlets in the days after he took a stand in his state’s debate on marriage. Soon after, TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres invited Wahls on her show to discuss his speech and his family’s story. Since then, Wahls has spent countless hours advocating for his family and other LGBT-led families and their fight to receive equal marriage rights across the U.S. His book, “My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family” (Gotham Books), is due to be released on April 26, 2012.

“Zach’s amazing conviction in standing up for the rights of his family has been an inspiration to LGBT young people, families and straight allies across this nation,” said Campus Pride Executive Director Shane Windmeyer. “At a time when the national debate on marriage equality for same-sex couples continues to be used as a political football, Zach’s simple message of love, honor and commitment reminds each of us what a family is really about and acts to empower young people across the nation to stand up for what they believe is right and true.”

The Voice & Action National Leadership Award will be presented to Wahls on the final evening of Camp Pride. Wahls will be joined at the camp by other national speakers and entertainers. Past honorary award winners have included Neil Giuliano, Donna Rose, Mara Keisling, Judy Shepard and Daniel Hernandez, Jr. The award is the only honor of its kind, focused on the work of undergraduate college students who are creating positive change for LGBT and ally people on their campuses and in their communities. Campus Pride honored three other students with the award this year, including University of California, Berkeley’s Marco Flores, New York University’s Tovah Leibowitz and Duke University’s Jacob Tobia.

Camp Pride, Campus Pride’s Summer Leadership Program, is a one-of-kind leadership experience that brings together over 60 LGBT and allied young people from across the country for five days of student leadership development, campus organizing techniques, conflict management, social justice advocacy, diversity education and more. The summer leadership program will be featured in May in the documentary “Legalize Gay: The Civil Rights Movement of a Generation” on the national TV network Logo. Campus Pride is the nation’s leading non-profit organization for LGBT and allied college and university students.

Registration for the sixth annual Camp Pride, July 17-22, 2012, is now open. An early discounted rate of $815 is available through May 1. Scholarships for free registration are also available. The cost of registration includes educational curriculum, all program materials, accommodations for five nights and meals as well as entertainment and activities. A special “Advisory Bootcamp” track for LGBT and ally faculty advisors is also available. Students and advisors can register online or learn more about scholarship opportunities at www.campuspride.org/camppride/.