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. Anonymous

    How wonderful is that! Bravo Mr. President and bravo to you as well Sophia for being a great example!

    November 20, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    I think it is great our President took the time to write this young lady. He has a big heart and is a wonderful person. He makes me proud to be an American.

    November 20, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. Namegb

    This is gross and wrong. Obama did not write that letter he had someone else do it.

    November 20, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    Why isn't the "little girl" addressing the president as Mr. President instead of Barak Obama? Total disrespect and her "fathers" should have told ther that. Instead, they post that disgusting picture for all to see. I don't have or want the right to tell people who to marry, but this lifestyle will never be acceptable to me. I choose not to respect it, but I don't discriminate against those who practice it. As president, he did address this particular situation in the right way for the sake of the child.

    November 20, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  5. Kim Van Scoy

    This is beautiful. I too am proud that Mr. Obama is my president.

    November 20, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  6. Michael E. Lewis

    I do not agree w/ bringing a child up around "same sex" couples. Our Heavenly Father,ordained the sanctity of marriage between man and woman. Please do not allow the "institution of marriage",to become tarnished like our rights to freedom of speech. We are protested against,when flying the United States flag;or wanting to install a Cross,in our own front yards. What a weird World we live in!

    November 20, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  7. dontbow

    And everyone must completely accept gay marriage or they are racist. whine whine whine. How many times have we seen these stupid cnn stories of acceptance. They will never get our right to object to gay marriage, they are too busy trying to force their opinions on everyone else. tragic.

    November 20, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  8. dontbow

    More dumb liberal stories of acceptance. Our hearts weep for their forced opinions on others.

    November 20, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  9. Liz the First

    Didn't think i could be any gladder Obama won. i was wrong. too bad the haters and bigots can't evolve the way he did on this subject. i wish the 'traditional marriage' hawkers would remember that in the biblical days, a traditional marriage consisted of several wives and a few concubines. marriage has been evolving as long as there have been people. women used to be considered the property of their husbands. as humanity evolves and learns, we need to develop new traditions and let go of the outdated, hurtful ones. slavery was once a tradition, too. we ditched that, and it's time to ditch the hurtful and legally indefensible ban on two adults who love each other entering into the legal contract of marriage.

    November 20, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. Matthew Jandecka

    Nice little propaganda piece to further the "agenda".

    November 20, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  11. Penny Wright

    We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal...

    November 20, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    To all you haters out there, I suggest you take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself why you are incapable of seeing into the hearts of others and recognizing our shared humanity.

    Once you are able to do that, THEN you will know God's love as it is reflected in ALL of us.

    November 20, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @Maddex: "Anyway, I'm thrilled that our country is heading in the right direction. More freedom for everyone... you'd think the Tea Partiers and Conservatives would get behind that."

    Using the phrases "think" and "Tea Partiers and Conservatives" are mutually-exclusive ... :)

    November 20, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @hollando: 'To be a Christian, is to be Christ like, to walk in His foot steps, to uplift those in need, comfort to those needing to be comforted and to give thanks for all his mercies, EVEN the little ones. If only this is true for those pretending to be Christians, we would have a better world."

    Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman, who really understood grace. I would add that a true Christian recognizes the "christ" in all of us: The opening of the heart and ability to see our humanity in everyone. This is not exclusive to Christians, and I firmly believe that God is much bigger than what most Christians, in their scared, narrow, self-centered view could ever conceive to be.

    A rose by any other name would smell as sweet ... that holds for religions, as well as flowers ...

    November 20, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. Cassandra Martinez Muñoz

    Mr. President, it sure was thoughtful of you to take the time to touch a girl's hurting heart. I am sure she will treasure your letter always.

    November 20, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  16. ND4190

    This article is awesome. I hope that President Obama continues to work on issues involving LGBT rights during his second term, so that all same-sex couples in all states, like Sophia's fathers can get married.

    November 20, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  17. Name

    The president did a great job responding to the young girl. Imagine he treat the way he expected to be treated to his doughter. That shows he such assertive person. Thanks president I hope you will made some change regarding same sex marriage. My name is Dahir MohameD I'm Somalian. Currently I'm student at St.cloud Technical and community Colleges. Thanks once again

    November 20, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  18. fonzie

    Poor girl. She's 10. She has no idea what she's talking about.

    November 20, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  19. deserthermit

    People loving and helping people will always trump haters. Proud of my potus.

    November 20, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  20. Name

    This article made me cry

    November 20, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  21. NameFran Alasbrook

    This is exactly why he was re-elected again...he cares....!!

    November 20, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  22. toddale smith

    God made man and he saw that it was good. he took a rib from adam and created woman from man. of course this is the shorten version of gensis however we all know the basic story. two men can not teach a girl to become a women and vise versa. i do not hate gays nor will i say they are going to hell. the bible says he who cast the stone......so who am i? however we know morally its not right. period.

    November 20, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  23. blackbarrypimp

    ha-ha the sick minds of barry obama and cnn....

    November 20, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  24. ??

    What is the county becoming to ..now I can't say I'm shame to be American ..why can you Gay people just be gay at your house leave that in your home not in public

    November 20, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  25. Vanessa

    @ Dominican mama 4 Obama.. I always enjoy reading ur posts! & though i don't usually respond, i want to do so today. Thanks for your wonderful insights! Look forward in reading them everyday! Keep up the great work in behalf of the latino community.. Your response to Wilson was respectful, though he was not so much..

    November 21, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
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