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. Rudy NYC


    "Basically meaning you might not be worth having a conversation with."

    Then by all means, feel free to ignore my comments ... or not.
    Wilson might be sore because i called him out on his "dragging a child into it remark" and he's yet to respond to it. False assumption on Wilson's part. No, actually maybe he has responded to it. I've lost all credibility with Wilson, that was the response.

    November 21, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Wilson

    @Rudy NYC

    Wilson just wrote:
    "Dude, you lost credibility a long time ago. Now you are just trying to stir something up. Nowhere have I said that I have the "right to specify and define the beliefs for others." You just keep losing credibility. Pretty soon, nothing you write will be read."

    Wilson had previously wrote:
    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.
    Seems pretty cut and dried to me. You judged. The parents failed your judgement. You expressed your opinion. You have defend your right "to not bow" to political. You have said what you think, and expressed your feelings that the relationship does not meet your feelings of "political correctness"....in a purely social scenario.

    I only responded in kind. Don't make yourself look like a worse hypocrite than you already have.
    You are correct in that "I judged." But you are wrong, I did not "specify and define" how others should believe. They are as free to belive how they wish as I am. Now stop with the name calling. I am no hypocrite, you need to look in the mirror, and at some other posters on here for that one. Your credibility continues to suffer. The more you "read between the lines," the more you lose.

    November 21, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Wilson


    "Basically meaning you might not be worth having a conversation with."

    Then by all means, feel free to ignore my comments ... or not.
    Thank you for your permission. For the most part, I do.

    November 21, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. G8R

    @ California Gary-
    Well put, couldn't have said better.
    @ Wilson-
    You're right, you do have the right to be condescending, self-righteous, and obtuse. How else would we be able to recognize a rational person if we didn't have irrational people to compare them to. Thanks for representing.

    November 21, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. harry ballzonia

    Its too bad that little girl had to be put in that akward position of having two dads. she shouldnt have to be concerned about these things. she should be playing with her friends.

    November 21, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Name Ludmila

    Americans, you are very lucky to have president, who not only reads letters from kids, but finds time to respond

    November 21, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. QS

    What an uplifting story! I also would like to thank President Obama for his words to this young lady:

    "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."

    Sir, you make me proud to be an American and even prouder still that I had the opportunity to vote for you! 🙂

    November 21, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota


    Wilson, honey .... don't let me stop your "last word" upmanship game of words. I've got all day to banter with you.

    November 21, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Wilson wrote:

    ...You are correct in that "I judged." But you are wrong, I did not "specify and define" how others should believe...."
    Yes, you did,...and you just did it again. You point out that your beliefs/morals are seemingly different from yours. That's fair. You crossed the line when you condemn their beliefs or behaviors as wrong. What brought your beliefs to my attention is when you posted "they shouldn't drag a child into it" Now your telling them what theyve done wrong and how they should behave and live their lives.

    November 21, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. forbidden

    No matter what the world think about same sex it is forbidden by god as well as other sin. People have the right to do what they wants but all things not excepted by god. Have a great day.

    November 21, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Matt

    It is weird and gross to have both of your parents the same sex. Kids should not have to worry about that kind of thing growing up.

    November 21, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Greenspam

    Today Republicans demand a hearing on whether Obama has used federal money on the paper and ink used to write the letter to express a personal issue.

    November 21, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Name

    And this is the man who calls himself a christian. Yet supports homosexuals. No wonder this country is in its worst state ever

    November 21, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Blue

    Mr. President, you are some guy. Thanks for being you, I am proud to have you as my psresident.

    November 21, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Marcus

    @ Wilson
    'Fact: That is the beautiy of it. I can look down an anybody I wish, for whatever reason I wish. I can have the opinion that someones actions can make them less, or even non-human if I wish. By the way, you need to look up the definition of "projection," then look in a mirror. You display your lack of knowledge, therefore lack of credibility.'

    Hey hey... I said exactly that, YOU have the whole right to think anything about anyone...
    BUT... since every single other person in this have the same right too, how could we all live in society?
    By establishing rules and laws based on common ground, not this group of people's thinking or that one's...
    So if you think that someone is less-than-human for whatever reason... that's your right.
    But if you act and talk based on said beliefs you will end up disrespecting other people's rights... which is per legal definition 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL'.

    PS: Wilson boy, you are the definition of projection, claiming yourself to be a victim of other people's unfair judgement just because you think that you (and seemingly only you) have the right to do such a thing.

    November 21, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. ART

    To Harry Ballzonia, your post is just stupid she wasn't put in that position, it is what it is and she seems quite lucky to have two loving parents. To forbidden the only thing that should be forbidden is hateful people like you passing judgement on what is or is not, according to your fairy tale bible.

    November 21, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Tony Z

    Proud Barak Obama is my president. The love of parents for their children and to recieve that love back is a gift from God. As we are only men or woman, but we are not God. Lets not judge someone else, but instead love all of God's creation.

    Lets rememeber that there is a separation of church and state.

    November 21, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. CryBabies

    How very nice! Lets get to some real news and stop competing with Entertainment Tonight.

    November 21, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. darth vader

    reely? i just read that a bunch of democratis are calling repubs racists. REELY! it sound like the pot calling the kettle black .
    this is why congress cant work together .everybody needs to GET OVER IT ! since day one i have been able to accept that obama is our pres. and i have herd nothing but bad mouthing from both sides.

    November 21, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. Becca

    All I have to say is if there is a person who is really a true christian they would not have a word to say about anyone and accept how other people want to live their life. Also a true christian loves everyone with out doubts. SO anyone who is a real true christian that even so much talks about anyone in a bad way they are no longer a christian and will for sure not go to heaven. SO sorry but you lost your ticket and will be walking on hot coals when it is time to leave this earth.
    I my self think that anyone that loves a child even if it is two women or two men ,married or not married but living together. Is so great for a child. Just think how many that really want children to love for ever and look at how many people kill children every day. Also may I remind you christians that love to pop of at the mouth. The bible has been rewritten so many times as it is like telling a story to one person and sending it all around and by the time it comes back to you it is no way like the story you told in the begining. I say if kids in school are saying things to this little girl then that being a bully. As I know some schools have a no bullying tolerated then us that punish the Bullies.
    I do hope this child will do enough taking and writting to the President that maybe he will have the time to have dinner with her and her family even if it is inviting her to the white house for dinner. Then lets se how many kids will talk about her then. I do hope Michelle will get to thinking about this letter as if she even know of all this childs problems in school then she can step in with the president to do something for this child and her family that can help her out.
    So all of you adults on here you are being the same way about her to fathers as the school kids are doing to this 10 year old child you are being a bully to these 2 men.

    November 21, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    kid with two dads thinks that having two dads is normal...
    kids at school with a dad and mom think that having two dads is weird and gross...
    instinct is as powerful as environment and just as credible... get over it, it will always be this way and fighting normalcy is a losing battle- go protest with the nudists in SF that want to hang their goods out in public for everybody to see!-
    cute story though...Obama the hero! Interesting, I wonder if that is instinct or environment coming from a ten year old?

    November 21, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. Truth

    There is only a separation of chuch and state when it involves taxes. Other than that it's a go!

    *insert high sarcasm here*

    Thank you Mr. President for being...*gasp* HUMAN.

    November 21, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    darth vader

    reely? i just read that a bunch of democratis are calling repubs racists.
    No, you didn't. If so, I missed it. Quote the person and page. What I read is a lot of posts similar to yours, people playing the false indignation card by accusing people of calling them names. The only name calling from liberals has been "hypocrite". Oh yeah, and "christian conservative".

    November 21, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. Cheryl

    The people here expressing fake concern for the child of gay parents remind me so much of people who object to interracial marriage supposedly for the sake of the child. It's all an attempt to excuse your own prejudice. My grandparents were an interracial couple and all of their six children felt blessed to have them as parents. If you are loving, patient, and responsible your kids won't care what color your skin is or what gender you are.

    November 21, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. CJ

    My parents both have brown hair. When I was a kid, I thought you could only marry someone with the same color hair as you, and anything else was weird. I was just a dumb kid. Now I'm married to someone who not only has different colored hair than I do, he's not the same race as me. Ten-year-old me would be SHOCKED to see me now. People can be dumb–that's why we all need to be educated.

    November 21, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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