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. hank kelly

    I'm gay, have a partner, and am an Air Force combat vet. I served while many homophobes and chick hawks swerved. I deserve to love and be married to who I please as anyone else in the country. I thank God that we have a President who recognizes all of America's citizens, not a Preacher in Chief that those on the right would like to have.

    November 21, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  2. donna

    HOW GROSS, that Republicans should try to stop two people from having loving, secure families just because they are the same gender.

    November 21, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  3. Harlem

    The greatest time in American History is now.

    November 21, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  4. DT

    How nice BO got another pen pal, hope that doesn't upset his other pen pal, what was hs name again, the leader of Iran. They have been pen pals for a very long time.

    November 21, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  5. Evangenital

    We ARE SO PROUD of you Barack Obama, that's why we gave you FOUR MORE YEARS!

    Your family is the most decent family I have seen in the White House in my 60 years.

    November 21, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  6. Names enrage joe

    With all the problems and mountain of debts we have domestically, he travels to remote corner of south east Asia, handout freebies in millions to rebuild their education system and infrastructures. And. He finds time to be pen pal of a 10 year old.

    November 21, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. Wilson

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama
    @ Wilson
    Tough, grow a thicker skin and realize that other people's opinions, including mine, don't matter a hill-o-beans to a person's life
    You spoken opinion would make a difference to a child like Sophia. You must be able to see that. Children her age are so malleable; so susceptible to the words and actions of others especially as it pertains to what those others think of her and her loved ones. You know this Wilson. Children are so easily impacted. Had this letter been written by an adult you probably wouldn't have had me respond to you. But it was written by a child who is being hurt and picked on at school. To add your voice to that hurt has nothing to do with being politically inocrrect and everything to do with not being callous and insensitive to a child in pain.
    Having said that I must say that your response post to me was one of your most coherent posts, unusually free of your usual diatribe. I appreciated reading it, and being given the opportunity to respond.
    If the child is in pain, it is the fault of her sick and twisted "parents" for putting a child in such situation. I know, the childs situation is not her fault, but then again it is not mine either, nor the kids giving her a hard time at school, who by the way, probably learned their belief system, and gained the "gut" feeling that the girl's situation is not normal, from their parents. The fault lies entirely with the two people that disregarded the child's feelings, the knowledge of what she would probably go through, and put her in unnatural situation in the first place. I do feel sort of sorry for what the girl is going through, but I'm not going to change my opinion because of it, and I will express my opinion anytime I wish. I have spent over 20 years defending the right to not bow to "political correctness," to say what I think and feel as I wish.

    November 21, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  8. DT

    Hey Marla, you are so proud of this president. You can not even spell his name correctly, Enough said I guess, If you did not get educated then it is completely understandable that you would love, how did you spell it, Barak Obama...I like your spelling better BARAK. The comment above from 'ST' is spot on. Love the comment and I second that emotion.

    November 21, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  9. DT

    I truley hope the picture of the fathers don't look like that because then I could understand why they hooked up. Who else would want such a deformed character. I think they were made for each other. Did you ever see deliverance. You look pretty boy

    November 21, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  10. Joe

    With the mountain of national debt he faces domestically, he finds time to travel to far corner of south east Asia to handout millions to rebuild their education system. For all the social and economical issues he faces domestically, he finds time to befriend a 10 year old with a unique social significance

    November 21, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Woman In California

    Why isn't the "little girl" addressing the president as Mr. President instead of Barak Obama?
    Most of the time, you don't either.

    November 21, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    dontbow wrote:

    More dumb liberal stories of acceptance. Our hearts weep for their forced opinions on others.
    No one is forcing you to enter into a same sex relationship.

    Likewise, you shouldn't force onto others opinion onto others that THEY are prohibited from entering same sex relationships because of YOUR religious beliefs. The only groups that are forcing their beliefs onto others are those who identify themselves as "Christian" conservatives.

    November 21, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. Sam

    No other president has done so much to keep contact with the people. People say he does not care, sorry for a straight foward but YES-HE-DOES.

    November 21, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  14. Not a Hater

    Gotta love the Left......ANYONE who opposes same sex marraige "HATES"......

    For those of us who ar believers that the Christian (and other) religions oppose homosexuality and consider same sex sex a sin, have no room to move on this topic.

    Just because we believe that same sex marriage or sex is a "sin," does not make us haters.

    I don't hate anyone. I just oppose same sex marriage.

    November 21, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  15. Matt_b_218

    While we are all entitled to believe and practice any religious belief we choose, the problem 'Christians' today face is they do not hold the strong hods they once did. My mother has always tried to convert me but as I've told her, how can I believe in a God when all I see are those, like many of you one here, that 'worship' and claim to be good Christians, run around and speak such hate towards other mankind? How can you wish such evil upon, what ou claim, are all God's children? Furthermore, like many good Christian and Republicans that you claim to be, the two seem to go hand in hand, your ideologies and becoming extinct like the dinosaurs (which were real and never mentioned in the Bible BTW). You Christians have made a mockery of yourselves, religion, morales, values and everything good that you claim to be in the name of God. You should be disgusted with yourselves.

    November 21, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Do self described Christian conservatives fully understand what they look like?

    "It is against my religion to eat broccoli. So, I am orgainzing a movement to ban all farming, distribution, and consumption of broccoli in this country. Eating broccoli is a sin against MY God, and I am compelled to stop you from using broccoli in any way, shape, or form. While I am it, I am going to ban pork, too."

    November 21, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Not a Hater wrote:

    Just because we believe that same sex marriage or sex is a "sin," does not make us haters.

    I don't hate anyone. I just oppose same sex marriage.
    Fine, same sex marriage is not for you. Realize that no one is forcing you to enter into a same sex relationship or marriage. Furthermore, recognize that not opposing same sex marriage is not the same as supporting it. it's called minding your own business. Read your own Christian Bible, where it says leave it God's hands.

    November 21, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  18. Name bana

    Wow don't know what to say i believe in god,i am married i have kids..as a country we are losing morals been gay in my opinion is a lust you dont like women you choose men to satisfy you or vise versa.i don't have to like you or praise you for been gay ..Obama claims hi is catholic he goes to church why we all know the church is against abortion and same sex marriage..so our dear president is what exactly ...I guess we have to ask him at least Romney was honest about who he is and what he believes...i dont find it funny abortion is taking a life ,something that my dear bestfriend tryd so hard for years costing her a lot of money and tears..

    November 21, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  19. republican logic

    Not a Hater – people sin literally every day by adultery, by disrespecting their parents, by taking God's name in vain, and I have never seen one state constitutional amendment or one video of a red-faced Tony Perkins justifying killing a kid for not cleaning his room. Saying it's a sin is an utter copout, but that ignores the larger point, which is: WE ARE NOT ALL CHRISTIANS.

    November 21, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. lyn

    God Bless President Obama he cares.

    November 21, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I do feel sort of sorry for what the girl is going through, but I'm not going to change my opinion because of it, and I will express my opinion anytime I wish. I have spent over 20 years defending the right to not bow to "political correctness," to say what I think and feel as I wish
    Calm down dude. No one is asking you to change your mind or refrain from expressing your opinion, least of all me. I THOUGHT we were having a calm exchange of ideas. I guess you turned right and I went left.
    We're going to have to end this by agreeing to disagree with each other.
    Let me just say that if two people love each other and do right by each other and their children without causing harm to someone else I, in my heart of hearts Wilson, wish them nothing but a life of joy and the very best.
    But that's just me....

    November 21, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. Hugh Jass

    "her sick and twisted "parents"" That is so very Christian of you to say so. You are a credit to whatever dog's church brought you up to hate people. You also need to understand that most 'homophobes' like you are obviously closest cases trying not to drop the soap in front of everyone; the rest of us are not enraged by them because we don't find them tempting. You are angry because you are tempted, and we all see that, but that is your problem and not ours.

    November 21, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  23. Janet

    Religious people are the most judgmental sexually sick minded people in this world. They can't possibly think about the love same sex people may have for each other, all they think about is what's going on in the bedroom. That's where the "gross" part for them comes into play. Such hypocrisy. I wouldn't step in a church if you paid me.

    November 21, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  24. Hugh Jass

    "I don't hate anyone." You lie.

    November 21, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. Hugh Jass

    "her sick and twisted "parents" That is very Christian of you to hate them so much. Probably you are a closet case trying not to drop the soap in front of everyone; us normal people aren't enraged by gays because we aren't attracted to them. They are a fact of life; they will never be more than about ten percent of the population and they will never be much less than eight percent, whether society is lenient with them or accepting. If you think about them all the time and can't get them out of your mind, well, I gotta tell you, you are one of that ten percent.

    November 21, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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