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. Joel

    A book can't hug a child. A book can't raise a child. A book can't love a child. A father can. I'll take Sophia's family over the cold words in a dusty old book.

    November 20, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. cronewinter

    DJ it's too bad you grew up with an outdated and distorted view of families and love. Must be hard to keep track of everyones bedrooms. Give it a break.

    November 20, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |

    To "DJ" who thinks Sophia's life is ruined...... I assume you (yes, you DJ) were raised by a male and female and look how effed up you turned out.... Just sayin'!

    November 20, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |

    Barack Obama is such a pretty looking cutie - look at that girlish sweet dreamy smile - mmmmmm - bet Deval Patrick and Eric Holder love it even more, but I think Patty Poo is mad at Obambi right now. Patty was slated for Attorney General job after re-election. Guess he didn't give it up the wy Poo Poo wanted - so Eric is staying on for "another year." Where did Susan Rice go?

    November 20, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. camama

    I think any child who is raised in a home where two adults love and respect each other is blessed. It makes no difference if the adults are of the same or different genders. A true family is one where love grows and children feel safe and protected.

    DJ, I will pray for you.

    November 20, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Joi Gibson

    Way to go Mr. President!!! This is the way forward!!!

    November 20, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. valh90

    ahhh but "the wise" do realize, right!

    this is the time to be wise, to honor wisdom. so we (Americans) were wise in our choice of President Barack Obama!

    Sophia is a special girl! and she hails from a loving union it seems... God Bless you always child, God Bless your dads and God Bless the President of the United States of America!

    November 20, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Wilson

    Poor kid. Her classmates are correct, it is a sick and wierd relationship/situation.

    November 20, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. John the Historian

    The Gay community loves President Obama. The Christian Right party of Republicans need to learn the 1950s are over. Can't wait to see the Supreme Court legalize Gay marriage next year. What will the Christian Right do ?

    November 20, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. not in WI

    I can't wait until my three wives can legally marry my dog. We won't be a truly free society until we're able to marry everyone we love.

    November 20, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. RobK

    There are many good fathers that also do things that are not right. There are good fathers who are drunks, drug addicts, thieves, and murderers. Just because they are good fathers does not make everything they do morally acceptable.

    November 20, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Uloma

    Father I pray that you flood your love into the lives of these individuals and show them the truth. Holy spirit heal every hurt, open every blindness and deliver them by the power of your hand. Let them know the truth and let it set them free. For sweet little Sophia, I ask you to visit her like you did Samuel and reveal your presence to her in a way that will bring salvation to her family in Jesus name. Amen

    November 20, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. ShawnDH

    I love this president.

    November 20, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. sara

    Reminds me of the time my sister wrote to pakistani prime minister benezir bhutto. We were all so thrilled when she responded.. i hope my sister has it stored some where

    November 20, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. just askin

    don't these people know this was supposed to come out before the election in order to get more gay votes??? i doubt obama wrote the letter. they'd be lucky if he signed it.

    November 20, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Marry

    President Obama a truly exceptional man – really the peoples President. There are so many occasions were the President encouraged, comforted, listened, met, enjoyed the company of just PEOPLE! Always on the people’s side of the issues, trying to work and feel for and with the people! This is not new to him – he always lived that way. Every day I am thankful to my fellow Americans that they went out and VOTED! He truly earned our support!
    Voting matters – so let’s join again and again and again!

    November 20, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. RobK

    Liberals typically equate love with seks. There is nothing wrong with two men loving each other. There is definitely something wrong with two men having seks.

    November 20, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. spot

    >not in WI
    >I can't wait until my three wives can legally marry my dog. We won't be a truly free society until we're able to marry >everyone we love.

    woof, woof, woof...

    November 20, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Just WOW!
    Sophia, he's one of my heros too.
    God bless our President, his family and all of the Sophias and families like hers of the world.
    Stop the hate.

    November 20, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Iowa

    Dear Wilson

    You must be lost coming from the !(th century. Too bad you can't go back and leave us alone.

    Sincerely the twenty first century

    November 20, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That should've been "heroes". Pardon.

    November 20, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. papanez

    I agree with you, ShawnDH. President Obama is perfect for this country and this world. If more of our elected officials had his honesty, integrity, and intelligence America would be moving through our problems at a record pace. God Bless America, Sophia and her family, and President Barack Obama!

    November 20, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. Expat American

    Conservative Republican Bigots have no right to tell anyone who they can love and who they can marry. Instead of using their bibles to hide behind and fan the flames of their burning crosses – they should realize that the nation is changing and evolving into a better place; that is a nation where they will soon be a marginalized, pathetic, ridiculed, minority.

    November 20, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. betterdays

    I was going to say it reminds me of a movie I watched about a child and Marshal T_to of Yugoslavia called "T_to and Me," but you can't even type the man's last name on here without having your post summarily dismissed.

    Hurrah for CNN.

    November 20, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. Does it matter?

    Uloma ... do you really believe in that crap?


    November 20, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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