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Zach Wahls, right, joins Minneapolis area families at a Vote No picnic Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 to discuss how the proposed Minnesota constitutional marriage amendment would have a negative impact on Minnesota families and limit the freedom to marry for s
Zach Wahls, right, joins Minneapolis area families at a Vote No picnic Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 to discuss how the proposed Minnesota constitutional marriage amendment would have a negative impact on Minnesota families and limit the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Wahls, an Iowan who was raised by a lesbian couple, stands alongside a lesbian couple, Mary Gustafson, left, and Jenny Simonds and sons Charlie, left, and Carter Gustafson. Wahls is scheduled to address the Democratic National Convention.
Jim Mone, Associated Press

Zach Wahls, a 21-year-old activist raised by lesbian parents in the Midwest, got a speaking slot Thursday evening at the Democratic Convention and is sharing some intimate family history.

"People want to know what it's like having lesbian parents," Wahls says. "I'll let you in on a secret: I'm awesome at putting the seat down."

He went on to praise President Barack Obama for endorsing same-sex marriage, and to criticize Republican nominee Mitt Romney for opposing it.

"Mr. Romney," Wahls says, "my family is just as real as yours."

It was by no means Wahls' first foray into the political spotlight. Back in high school, he wrote an op-ed for Iowa's largest newspaper, advocating legalization of same-sex marriage. Last year, he addressed an Iowa legislative hearing, speaking out against a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

And this year, as a former Eagle Scout, Wahls had been leading a national protest campaign — thus far unsuccessful — to pressure the Boy Scouts of America into scrapping their ban on gay members and adult volunteers.

— David Crary — Twitter http://twitter.com/CraryAP

EDITOR'S NOTE — Convention Watch shows you the 2012 political conventions through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.