This week, the Iowa legislature took a step toward amending their state's constitution so that it specifically bans marriage between two men or two women.
Zach Wahls—a 19-year-old Iowa college student and the son of two mothers—is one of the many Iowans who thinks it's wrong to grant special privileges to some families, and deny them to others, based solely on sexual orientation. In a passionate speech to the House Committee, he told legislators that their decision won't change his family and their love for one another, but codifying discrimination will change Iowa—in ways that harm everyone.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.