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. Wilson

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Wilson:
    I thought it was funny too, almost blew my tea through my nose when I read it. Doesn't bother me, as I said to you earlier, opinions of others don't matter a hill-o-beans in my life and shouldn't in anybody's. However, I just thought to point out that this type of comment is being a "bully" right? And Rudy was calling me hypocrite earlier???? Hmmmmmm. Wonder where kids learn bully behavior.
    Wilson you have a good sense of humor!
    You're also very perceptive and in so being you actually proved our point. You felt kind of ganged up (bullied) on by Rudy, Lynda, California et al, and maybe even me. That must've felt a little uncomfortable even through the anonymity of the internet. Sophia feels ganged up on face-to-face by her contemporaries. Kids learn this kind of behaviour from the same place that adults learn it: from us.
    Now it is my turn to extend an apology to you Wilson.....but it WAS funny (wink)!!
    Accepted. I've had a lot of fun with Tom Hanks movies, my middle name being Forrest and first name being Wilson. If only my parents could have seen the future........or maybe they did and pulled the "boy named sue" thing from the johnny cash song,,HAHA!!

    November 21, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. California Gary

    Not trying to "bully" Wilson.......just trying to add a little levity to the conversation. This is heavy subject matter. I was being a little "snarky" I know.........but did accomplish a laugh or two apparently. That's all I was trying to do.

    November 21, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |

    Okay, now that we're all made up can we go back to the article please?

    Happy Thanksgiving everybody. 🙂

    November 21, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |

    From the article:
    "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."

    Enough said.

    November 21, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Hugh Jass

    "Not trying to "bully" Wilson."

    Didn't Wilson start out by calling the girl's parents "sick and twisted" and blaming them for her problems? Bullies deserve a taste of their own back. Kick him over the fence.

    November 21, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. California Gary

    You've got a point Hugh Jass.......he gave no quarter, and therefore deserves none. But it's coming up on the holidays, so maybe we can all just get along for a bit? I did make fun at his expense with my Wilson comment, and that could be considered "bullying" in some circles. And if there is one thing I have a low tolerence for, it's bullying.....so I felt obligated to soften the blow a bit. Southern Hottie.....you can never go wrong with the golden rule........and Happy Turkey Day to you also!

    November 21, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. joe

    all children deserve the best from us so called adults. Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to answer her letter.

    November 21, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. Seven gartner

    I wonder what Mitt's letter woulda looked like to this nice young lady?

    November 21, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Happy Thanksgiving everybody."

    I'll second that.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

    November 21, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. ClarasBeau

    Nice touch, Mr. President.

    November 21, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. pkrbkr

    I am so proud of our President......he's a real human being, caring about everyone. This child can offer nothing but herself, yet he cared enough to respond to her! What a guy! Thank you, Mr. President! We love you!

    November 21, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. ldavid69

    That is awesome.

    November 21, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. abdiaziz dafar

    "i'm not agay but this story make me tears on my eyes.every human been should be respected as we all liked to be respected"

    November 21, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. h.kollus

    To jg51. in regards to your posting that God created HIV And AIDS because of his displeasure with the gay community. then explain to me why over the past 1o years. straight men have the highest percent of newly dectected cases of HIV.? Not only sir are your bigoted religous ideas based on pure fantasy. You very obviously havnt bothered to educate yourself on social issues. if you have children i will pray to God that they have enough common sense to run away from you and your MORALS as soon as their able.

    November 21, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  15. CaesarXIII

    "A good rule is to treat others the way you hope they will treat you." Practice what you preach Mr. President and maybe you can unite the people as quick as you divided them.

    November 21, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  16. Joel

    Her parents marriage is gross and weird. Sorry, I said it.

    It's still the majority opinion.

    November 21, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. Name john

    Typical of the prez- classy

    November 21, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. bikat

    Are we encouraging our kids to such life style? I believe kids are better with mom and dad rather than dad and dad. Mr. president, your motive may be good but the ramification is not that great...

    November 21, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  19. John T Draper

    How great is it, not having a leering hillbilly for president any more?

    November 21, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. Totalperspetives

    That was great.. Simply a wonderful story.. What a great president. I love this man.. Lots of love to everyone and Happy Thanksgiving.

    November 21, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  21. Augie10

    This really moved me. I am the mother of a gay son and this brought tears to my eyes. It hurts terribly when people say hateful, ignorant things. This President is awesome!! He gives me great hope for the future. We are evolving and reaching upwards and outwards. I believe that this is our purpose in life – to become better than what we are now.

    November 21, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  22. Sister Theresa

    I love our President. And I love Sophia for her ability to express herself in such an adult matter. We could all learn a lesson from her. Her parents should be congratulated for the job the are doing.

    November 21, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  23. LJ

    So sad.

    November 21, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  24. just plain disgusting

    perverts should never be allowed to raise children.

    November 22, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  25. MikeinNM

    Before he ran for President, Obama's "Audacity of Hope" showed his support and respect for diversity in our country and in our government. He touched the lives of that little girl and her parents with compassionate and loving words. May we each show such compassion to all.

    November 22, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
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