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Zach-Wahls

Equality plea tops YouTube top 10 political videos in 2011

An Iowa man’s plea for marriage rights for his lesbian parents drew 18.3 million views to become the most-watched political video of the year, according to YouTube’s ranking of viral political videos.

AP reported that President Barack Obama’s speech to the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in April was second on the list, while Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s ad criticizing gays in the military placed third and was the year’s most-watched campaign commercial. The ad was also one of the most mocked, with about 800 response videos.

YouTube, the popular video-sharing site, released its 2011 list Dec. 20.

At No. 4 was Obama’s announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden on May 1, and at No. 5,  “Brother Can You Spare a Trillion?” by Florida Republican activist Blaise Ingoglia, warning of the mounting federal debt.

Together, the top 10 political videos drew about 50 million views from January to mid-December 2011.

In the overall list, “Friday,” Rebecca Black’s sing-songy paean to the weekend, was the most-watched video of the year with nearly 180 million views, YouTube announced.

A hearing in the Iowa House Judiciary Committee over a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage last winter generated the most-viewed political video of the year.

Zach Wahls, a student at the University of Iowa, stood before the panel to describe growing up as the son of two women. A handsome Eagle Scout, Wahls described a childhood similar to that of other Iowa families.

“In my 19 years not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple,” Wahls told the committee. “And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character.”

Iowa’s state Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in April 2009. The proposed amendment would have revoked marriage rights.

The Iowa House passed the amendment despite Wahls’ plea. But state Senate leaders decided against bringing up the matter, effectively killing it for the time being. Many gay rights activists credited the Wahls video for helping draw attention to the issue.

Links to the top political videos:

1. Zach Wahls speaks about family
2. President Obama at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
3. Strong [Rick Perry ad]
4. President Obama on death of Osama bin Laden
5. Brother, can you spare a trillion? Government gone wild!
6. Seth Meyers remarks at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
7. Rick Perry - Proven Leadership
8. Jon Stewart Goes Head-to-Head Bill O'Reilly
9. Now is the time for action! [Herman Cain ad]
10. President Barack Obama's First Ad of 2012 [NRSC Ad]

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