Contestant #6: Zack Ford

Zack is from Newport, Pennsylvania and is the proprietor of To vote for Zack, click here.  

Blog Post #1: Marriage Equality in Iowa

Originally posted at

The case is tricky, because the SCOTUS normally determines the appropriate level of scrutiny under the Federal Equal Protection Clause, and sexual orientation was still up for grabs.  That’s why that determination is part of the decision.  The four factors are:

  1. History of discrimination against gay and lesbian people. (Yes, there is such a history.)

  2. Sexual orientation and the ability to contribute to society. (No, there is no such impediment.)

  3. Immutability of sexual orientation.  (Yes, people can not change their sexual orientation.)

  4. Political powerlessness of lesbian and gay people. (“Gay and lesbian people are not so politically powerful as to overcome the unfair and severe prejudice that history suggests produces discrimination based on sexual orientation.”)

  So, then we get to the arguments about how scrutiny addresses the arguments. 

 Read the full post here.


Blog Post #2: Why You Should Absolutely Care About the Prop 8 Trial (And How!)

Originally posted at

Last week began the trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger. This case is a challenge to California's Proposition 8, which ended the state's recognition of same-sex marriages in 2008. "Perry" is Kris Perry, one of four plaintiffs (two same-sex couples, pictured at right) who are challenging the ban. "Schwarzenegger" is obviously the Governator, but he and his attorney general decided not to defend Prop 8, so the group that originally promoted Prop 8 (Yes on 8, now known as Protect Marriage) is defending in the governor's place. (They're called defense-intervenors for this reason.)

Now, here's your first important point. Even though this may just look like a challenge to a state law, it's taking place in federal court. Why is this important? Because it means the implications of the verdict would apply outside of California. Pretty much everybody expects this case to make it to the Supreme Court. The conclusion of this trial could be epic.

Read the full post here.

Question #1: How will you help advance the freedom to marry?

As a social justice educator, it is my goal to achieve equity in society by helping others understand the inequities that persist. Like other civil rights issues, the key to achieving marriage equality is educating the masses about the issues at stake. My unique ability to synthesize events that are taking place and present them in simple ways (like my comprehensive coverage of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial) helps readers tune in to the importance of these issues and how they can be proactive about proliferating that understanding throughout their own lives.

Question #2: How would you benefit from going to Netroots Nation?

The unemployment I've suffered since completing my Master's in May 2009 has had an upside: time to dedicate to my blog and my writing. Though I've grown a lot in my 16 months of blogging, I still feel like a beginner in a lot of ways. When the economy finally lets me kickstart my career in education, I'll have less time to write. At that time, it'll be essential that I have the skills to make the most of what I do write through my connections to the Netroots. Attending Netroots Nation will help me become a better blogger and podcaster in the way I deliver my message so that I can make the biggest possible social justice impact with my writing.