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. absolutely

    >Clearly, some posters still have not mastered the art of "live and let live".

    i agree. the abortion supporters just won't stop killing the babies.

    November 20, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. ug

    A leader that promotes perverts.

    November 20, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Jm

    Truly, So proud of our president and this country...

    November 20, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Wilson


    "Even animals are not that stupid."

    Animals "gay it up" all the time. Know what you're talking about...THEN open your yap.
    Yes animals do "gay it up," I've seen my dog do it. But they don't "mate" permanently with the same seks, it is not in their nature. They know better. Only humans are that stupid.

    November 20, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Data Driven

    To the brilliant individual who keeps insisting that Obama changed positions just to get votes:

    Fair enough, but I think we all understand that a President Romney would have had no problem with Roe v. Wade getting overturned, despite his *most recent* position that abortions are A-OK in the event of rape or incest. This President's record on LGBT issues is unambiguous: pushing for the removal of DADT in the armed forces, not enforcing DOMA, and finally acceptance of GM. If he had to tread cautiously and even hypocritically while waiting for the citizenry to catch up, then so be it. Obama wasn't the only one who had to "evolve".

    November 20, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Just another narrative among millions why a majority of voters supported President Obama. GOP/Tea Party leaders should take note and learn that the message of love, tolerance, and inclusion is stronger than that of hate, intolerance, and exclusion.

    November 20, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. Maddex

    Don't you people understand that for this girl, this isn't a matter of living in an "abnormal" family. Her life is normal to her. She has two loving, normal parents–which is more than you can say for a lot of kids in America living in divorced, single-parent, broken households, or in adoption shelters.

    And I'm tired of hearing all the whiny accusations that Obama was "late getting into the game." There is such a thing in politics as planning for the long run, and that means the biggest priority is WINNING the presidency. Once you're in office, you can enact changes on a much larger scale. It doesn't make sense to stake an entire presidency on one issue and run the risk of losing EVERYTHING in a country full of evangelist, social-issue voters. I am a gay student. Trust me, I want nothing more than equal rights for myself and people like me. But I can appreciate how difficult politics can be, and I'm thankful that Obama's presidency ended up doing the right thing. As president, he's pushing for major reforms on these social issues. He was able to negotiate the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and he was also able to appoint 2 liberal justices who will look favorably on the issue of marriage when it reaches them. Don't blame him for being a pragmatist. Politicians are supposed to be negotiators, not ideologues.

    Anyway, I'm thrilled that our country is heading in the right direction. More freedom for everyone... you'd think the Tea Partiers and Conservatives would get behind that.

    November 20, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "and don't call jesus christ stupid or you'll burn in hell forever."

    I dunno about all that hell mumbo jumbo, but I do agree with the fact that Jesus was a very very smart man. His one failure was to assume his teachings wouldn't get abused by the very very stupid and/or very very corrupt and greedy.

    "The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ levelled to every understanding and too plain to need explanation, saw, in the mysticisms of Plato, Materials with which they might build up an artificial system which might, from its indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power, and preeminence. The doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child; but thousands of volumes have not yet explained the Platonisms engrafted on them: and for this obvious reason that nonsense can never be explained."
    -Thomas Jefferson, 1817 (letter to John Adams)

    November 20, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Sal

    Makes life all the more confusing for a child. As much as I despise the President for his continuous duplicity there is no other way to respond other than positive wat he did to this desperate situation. Even though I do not agree with the parents I tell my children to be kind and considerate to all even those to which we disagree. I can disagree with the parents without being disagreeable as I am sure there are things they do not like about me either. If everyone you know is the same you need to get out more.

    November 20, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. jimnbelize

    Dear God, this article makes me so proud of our preident. He has changed this little girls life forever, only second to the two loving men who adopted her .I only wish that he would invite the family to the white house family quarters for dinner. c'mon Mister Prez, your girls would love it.

    November 20, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. 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.

    November 20, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    By the way Wilson ever think about the fact that what you post on this site is being read by children as well?
    Just a thought.
    Your words DO matter and make a difference.

    November 20, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Jasoner

    Why the hell is this news? His newfound gay pandering has sunk to a new low – Pandering to children. How about that economy?

    November 20, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. ST


    @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."

    If it is fine with you to do such a sharing, that is also fine with us. No one will stop you to do so, what we can only do is just look and smile if not laughing loudly.

    November 20, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. cj90210

    DJ – you couldn't be more wrong. That little girl is going to grow up surrounded by so much love and is going to know how to celebrate diversity. I wish the rest of the so-called Christians could see that growing up with two loving parents, regardless of gender, is so much better than having only one or no parents at all. This would lead to more kids getting adopted and having a better shot at a great life experience...

    November 20, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. hollando

    To be a Christian means to love and be compassionate to others, even if you disagree with them. The lowly, sick, crazy, thieves etc. were made by the same creator and mankind can't judge others because we all are sinners. The reason why Christianity has gone down hill, is because we as a people think we are God and we cast judgement on others. We believe we are the only true follower of Christ, but we are more than just sinners; we blaspheme against the very God we talk so much about.
    I knew one true Christian in all my 50 years on Earth; that Christian was my mother. I have never heard her cast judgement on anyone, no matter how much she was hurt by that person. She would rather say " I will pray for you" She, when praying, ask God for forgiveness, acknowledge that she has fallen short of His Grace and the He should by His Grace, forgive her of her sins. Now, when she pray for those who harm her, she ask God to forgive them and to open their heart to love and care about others. To give them understanding and wisdom, faith and tolerance. She, my friends was a true Christian and IF she was alive; as I have told my people, she would get my vote.
    To be a Christian, is to be Christ like, to walk in His foot steps, to uplift those in need, comfort to those needing to be comforted and to give thanks for all his mercies, EVEN the little ones. If only this is true for those pretending to be Christians, we would have a better world.

    November 20, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. SearchingForAnAtheistExtremist

    Sweet story.

    November 20, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Peter

    I support the right of gay/lesbian people to get married, but I got to admit seeing the drawing of 2 dad kissing kinda weird. Can we take it slowly please?

    November 20, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. Marla

    This is why I'm so proud that Barak Obama is my President.

    November 20, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Ferathka

    It's nice to see that the people of this country made the right choice and elected a President who can represent 100% of the people not just the Rich, straight, white men. Thank you Mr. President for being the People's President. One day the Republicans may wake up and realize that Hate is not the way to run a political party.

    November 20, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. California Gary

    @Wilson.......in a perfect world every kid would grow up in a house where there is a mother, a father, 2.5 siblings, and a dog. They would live in a house with a white picket fence, money would not be an issue, and they would never want for anything. Our world doesn't even come close to resembling that one. In our world, some kids are raised by a single parent, some by their grandparents, some by an aunt or uncle, some by the oldest sibling, some get bounced around from foster home to foster home, and some pretty much have to raise themselves. So if someone is in a home being raised by a same sex couple who love each other and love and provide for the child, they are far better off than some others.......so my question is: who the heck are you to put that down and call it "wierd"? Maybe that's not how you were raised (maybe you were one of the lucky ones with the two parent household and a dog), but that is how this particular family is doing it and I say more power to them. When you consider where this girl might be if not for her two dads, she isn't doing to badly.

    November 20, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |

    I think we should all have the same opinion about gay people that Jesus Christ had
    (BUT, Jesus didn't say anything about gay people)
    I KNOW!!!

    November 20, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. stevenfbrackett

    It is so nice to see such overwhelming humanity, humility and concern for the citizenry in the White House after the darkness of the 2001-2008.

    November 20, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. Woman In California

    I wonder how God feels about this?

    This is one area I disagree with the president on but to each their own.

    November 20, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  25. Heidi

    Sophia is clearly well educated and loved. President Obama's response was wonderfull. When I was younger and dumber I thought my beliefs should be everyones. Now I realize that God and the world are more glorious with many different beliefs.

    November 20, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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