10-year-old with same-sex parents finds pen pal in President Obama
November 20th, 2012
01:35 PM ET
1 year ago

10-year-old with same-sex parents finds pen pal in President Obama

(CNN) – When Sophia Bailey-Klugh, a 10-year-old, invited President Barack Obama to dinner, she didn't get a response.

So when he replied to her second letter–this one thanking him for his position on same-sex marriage–the girl with two fathers was really surprised.

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One of Sophia's fathers, Jonathan Bailey, posted the letter to Facebook on October 28, saying Sophia penned the piece "unprompted" and it made her two fathers "so unbelievably proud."

"Dear Barack Obama," she wrote. "It's Sophia Bailey Klugh your friend who invited you to dinner. You don't remember okay that's fine. But I just wanted to tell you that I am so glad you agree that two men can love each other because I have two dads and they love each other."

Sophia, who lives with her fathers in San Diego, California, went on to write about how other students at her school say her parents' marriage is "gross and weird."

"It really hurts my heart and feelings, so I come to you because you are my hero," she wrote, asking for advice on what he would do if he were in her shoes.

"I hope you win on being the president. You would totally make the world a better place," she ended the letter. "Please tell your daughters hi for me!"

Also on the page was a drawing of her two dads kissing, with the word "love" written overhead.

From Jonathan Bailey's Facebook page

A week later, Jonathan posted a letter with the president's letterhead at the top. It was dated November 1 and addressed to Sophia.

"Thank you for writing me such a thoughtful letter about your family. Reading it made me proud to be your president and even more hopeful about the future of our nation," the letter stated.

"In America, no two families look the same. We celebrate this diversity," Obama continued. "And we recognize that whether you have two dads or one mom what matters above all is the love we show one another. You are very fortunate to have two parents who care deeply for you. They are lucky to have such an exceptional daughter in you."

From Jonathan Bailey's Facebook page

Shortly after North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in May, Obama announced in a televised interview that he had "evolved" in his position on the issue and believed two people of the same gender should legally be allowed to wed.

Americans have largely been divided on the issue of same-gender marriage. According to CNN Exit Polls from Election Day, 49% of Americans said they agreed that same-sex marriage should be legal in their respective state, while 46% disagreed.

Obama overwhelmingly won the support of those who identified themselves of gay, lesbian or bisexual–76% to Mitt Romney at 22%. While Romney personally opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions, he did say he supported domestic partnership rights and favored the right for a gay couple to adopt children.

In his letter, Obama suggested that Sophia remind her friends at school about the Golden Rule: "A good rule is to treat others the way you hope they will treat you."

"Thanks again for taking the time to write me," he continued. "I'm sorry I couldn't make it to dinner, but I'll be sure to tell Sasha and Malia you say hello."

When Jonathan Bailey posted the letter from the president, he also offered his own personal thanks.

"Thank you Barack Obama – you have made one 10-year old feel mighty special (and her two dads too)," he wrote in the caption of the photo.


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. cfjermestad

    I am proud of you, Mr. President, for reaching out and writing as you did. Sophia and her parents deserve your applause and support, and eventually the rest of the country will agree. They are getting there! I, as a straight woman, am delighted to see how our country is evolving.

    November 22, 2012 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  2. cfjermestad

    Gartner, I suspect that Mitt may not have written, but I don't think that he would have borne Sophia any ill will. I certainly voted against him, but he was no G.W.Bush. He was more liberal and open-minded than he is given credit for. Being a Mormon does not automatically make you a homophobic or racist. I know many who are neither. Maybe Mitt was naive to those who are on the other side of the 90%. What if Santorum had been the Republican nominee? I cringe.

    November 22, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  3. Mike Harris

    finally someone writing to the president on his own level

    November 22, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  4. thinks for self

    Beautiful and I am so very happy to have a President who stands for Love!

    November 22, 2012 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  5. Dan

    It's interesting to hear that President Obama mentions the Bible's "Golden Rule:" "...treat people the same way you want them to treat you" to help this girl defend homosexuality (which the Bibles clearly condemns). He seems confused to me on a lot of stuff.

    November 22, 2012 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  6. yes it matters

    And if condoning marriage between humans and animals would have gotten him more votes, Obama would have praised that union also.

    November 22, 2012 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  7. Ruby Russell

    Great job President Obama! Hang in there Sophie. Treat others like U want 2 be treated is a great rule of thumb! Unfortunately some members of folks still are narrow minded. Have a great Thanksgiving.

    November 22, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  8. kito

    This child is being trained in the way that she should go. These 2 fathers that love themselves will be responsible and the day of judgement is fast coming. They know that what they are doing is wrong and they teach their ways to a young child.

    November 22, 2012 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  9. David

    I am so proud that Barack Obama is my president.

    November 22, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  10. Richard

    "Americans have largely been divided on the issue of same-gender marriage. "

    Yes, that is why civil rights should never be a matter of consensus.

    November 22, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  11. AdamANDEve

    This is very disturbing!! That little girl now thinks and believes that two men gave birth to her, she sees them kissing and displaying affection to each other and thinks it's normal. Its not!!!.

    November 22, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  12. Wake up People!

    Mike Harris said:
    finally someone writing to the president on his own level

    This coming from someone that doesn't even know how to use punctuation or when to capitalize.

    November 22, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  13. sifto

    obama only changed his mind when the dems counted up same sex couples and told him there were many votes to be had–he has always been against same sex marriage....how can all those people be so gullible

    November 22, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  14. Name Emilia

    No matter what this President does he will be faulted

    November 22, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. sifto

    will CNN never stop with the slobbering articles–someone should tell then the election is over and they can stop pushing their candidate......no one really believes that obama is that caring....

    November 22, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. Facts don't Lie

    the right wing posters have no love for Obama...and I get a real laugh out of it. Whine, cry, and post all the negative stuff you want because you'll have the next 4 years to do it. At least now though you can make him a one-term president. ROTFLMAO

    November 22, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. Iks87

    Wow all of the ignorant comments. First of all I think that it is a very sweet gesture of Obama to write back to this girl. Secondly I'm a straight women and I have absolutely no problem w anyone of the same gender getting married. Why should I? Why should anyone ? Who is anyone else to tell someone who they can fall in love with. And please stop using the same old homosexuality is a sin a lot of other things are a sin too doesn't stop u from doing those ! Besides when this country was founded it was founded in the basis of religion is separate from state. Meaning religion and religious beliefs should have nothing to do with state laws. So there goes the bogus claim of oh my religion says being gay is a sin. Besides if u do want to bring religion into it religion also tells us to love one another. So please stop being prejudice and discriminating against anyone just because they don't have the same preference as u oh yeh and if gays are serving in the military, paying taxes, contributing to society ( my physican is a gay man) then wth shouldn't they also have the right to get married like every other citizen ?!?

    November 22, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. Roscoe Chait

    I am filled with hope after reading this child's letter and our President's response. I can't say the same for the religious-tyrants responding in this forum. So many people around the world have been murdered as a result of religion. Makes you wonder how much better the world might be if religion disappeared and human beings realized they had to be responsible for each other.

    November 22, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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