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

    Ok, please explain how a girl has two fathers! Who gave birth to her!

    November 20, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. cali girl

    Way cool!

    November 20, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    President Obama is certainly "The People's President." I personally feel two guys together is gross & against my beliefs, but that's my opinion. I'm in no position to say whether same sex couples can'y marry because according to the Constitution of the U.S., yes they can! I'm sure Sophia went to school proud of her parents after reading the President's letter.

    November 20, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. Ben Yaweh

    I do not suport same sex marriage, however I do think that some sort of civil union is okay and that discrimination against gays is wrong. I found this letter from the young girl very moving and it brought tears to my eyes. The President's reply is just right and is very comforting. This is something that I really believe sets Pres. Obama apart from those on teh Republican Presidential ticket. I am really proud That Pres. Obama is our President.

    November 20, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Jay Jay

    Aww that's awesome. I have never understood why reasonable person would object to gay folk getting married. I just don't get it.

    Just as well the demographics in the US are evolving too.

    I live in the UK and we're slowly trying to catch up with some of the truly democratic choices your system allows – so lots of luck to all of yout for the next four years and I hope Pres.Obama can hit this term out of the park.

    I can tell you that absolutley everyone here was hugely relieved that the election turned out as it did. We were worried we'd be back off to war and as always would have gone in with you guys.

    Give peace a chance – at home as well as everywhere else.

    Much love.

    November 20, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    "I'm in no position to say whether same sex couples can'y marry because according to the Constitution of the U.S., yes they can!"
    I agree.

    And to all of you out there who prattle about the US founding fathers' Christian values, I suggest that you do a web search for " American Philosophical Society ", which was founded Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin. About 2/3 of the people who signed the founding documents were members of that society, and of those that were not it was mostly because of the matter of distance and travel time to and from Philly. If you're still not convinced that the founding fathers sought a secular state, then read the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution and explain to me why it does not call for Christian values.

    November 20, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. info please

    The President is exactly how a president should be AN EXCEPTIONAL PERSON LOOKING OUT FOR THE PEOPLE. Republicans take note. Also, your hatred of people who are different from you is what destroys great countries like the USA. No one has the right to tell anyone who they can love.

    November 20, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Ben Yaweh

    I do not suport same sex marriage, however I do think that some sort of civil union is okay and that discrimination against gays is wrong.
    The concept of a civil union is unconstitutional. The concept of "separate but equal" was deemed unconstitutional six decades ago during the legal battles over segregated schools.

    November 20, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    It's time to retire "It gets better." The truth is, It's GETTING better. Progress is not some future dream. It is right here, right now.


    November 20, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Michael

    Way cool. And he should try to go to dinner at their place, That would be so nice if he did.

    November 20, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. cashmeremafia

    Very touching story – I just hope we can get over this someday, just like we are making progress against other forms of discrimination. Kudos to President Obama!! Even Dick Cheney is sympathetic towards the cause, that must mean something to conservatives.

    November 20, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. cadillac

    Hi Sophia,
    I do not believe in same sex marriage, but that's me belief. Who am I to tell you are your two dads whom to Love. What goes on in your household is your business. Just keep your head up high. I love President Obama also. Some adults can take notes from this 10 year old.

    November 20, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. LovesIrony

    Not allowing gay couples to get married IS discrimination.

    November 20, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Marie

    This is EXACTLY why the right man was re-elected to be the President of these United States.

    November 20, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. Romney is NOT My Hero

    Thank you America for voting (along with me) for our President's second term. This is exactly the kind of person we need in office.

    That's right everyone, the PRESIDENT of the 100%, Mr. Obama.

    November 20, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. kayla

    i agree, president obama is THE PEOPLE'S PRESIDENT

    November 20, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. Phyllis G Williams

    If the President loves them, Ezekiel 3: 18 says he must let the child and so-called parents know Leviticus 20: 13

    November 20, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. pink hase

    Sophia you are a very lucky little girl. You have to dads to love you and take good care of you. Don't listen to the other children. You hold your head up high, you are a very special young lady.

    Way to go Mr. President. Not only are you the people's President you're my hero. What a wonderful thing you did for Sophia and her Dad's, I bet your girls would love to go to Sophia's for dinner. How about inviting her and her Dad's to the White House?

    November 20, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Wake up People!

    Reading this article has moved me to tears. First my heart goes out to that brave young lady, Sophia. She has endured a lot in her few years on this earth. I was never for or against gay marriage, I believe people should be able to marry whomever they want, because I am AGAINST discrimination of any kind. As for President Obama, I am so proud that you are our President again. Your response was spot on. You are an amazing man and a wonderful POTUS.


    Back in 1976, my sister and I wrote poems to President Carter and we received cards back. I still have mine.
    I am so proud to have lived during the time we elected this wonderful man.

    November 20, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Data Driven

    Nice to not have a bigot in the White House.

    November 20, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. DJ

    It is too bad young Sophie will grow up with a distorted view of parenting and family life, not knowing the loving relationship of a true family of a mother and a father in their proper rolls.

    This is a sad reality for so many children thrust into this type of sick relationship..

    November 20, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. RK

    A very touching and beautiful story. It affirms to me that Americans voted for the best man to lead us again in the next four years. Sophia is indeed a very special child and her parents are fortunate to have her.

    November 20, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. joshua

    Hebrew 12:14 without Holiness no one will see God.

    November 20, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. just sayin

    >Data Driven
    >Nice to not have a bigot in the White House.

    but he was a bigot until he realized the gay community wasn't sending in their campaign donations!

    November 20, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. lolo

    @IMWEIRD, surely you jest. People like you are what is wrong with this country. Maybe she was adopted. You do not have to give birth to be a loving and caring parent.

    November 20, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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