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. Expat American

    A loving home with two fathers (or two mothers) is not sick. A home in which outdated Conservative Republican Hate Speech and Values are taught is what is sick.

    November 20, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  2. dave

    Thank you Mr President. It's time we focused on the important issues and not have government dictate who loves who. Sweet girl and a sweet story

    November 20, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Willie Floyd

    To my fellow Christians-Judge not lest you also be judged! I may not understand homosexuality or approve of it, but that gives me no right to deny another persons right to live their life as they choose. We are a country of freedoms and thankfully, our wonderful president supports those freedoms.

    November 20, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    I don't believe in gay marriage, in my view marriage is between a man and woman, that being said nor am I in the position to to judge others, I will always express my view point on this issue! Should I go around displaying hatred, not sure, these people have to answer to God for themselves, but I refuse to hate them for it.

    November 20, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. Bobo

    So the president has no interest in regular good ol' fashioned kids. Yay for special interest groups.

    November 20, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. Dear homophobes:

    Thankfully within the next 100 years you will be practically extinct. I expect this intolerance from the same people who proudly hang confederate flags from high above their trailers, but for the rest of Americans it's really sad. I don't know how a person can be educated in mathematics, yet treat equality as a non-definitive and flexible measurement based on biased fear. I was hoping people were smarter than that and that viewpoints could change, but I'm starting to understand that we will just have to wait and let bigoted dinosaurs die off one at a time.

    November 20, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. sierrafoxtrot

    I am not surprised he cited the "golden rule" which is self centered...why would anyone think that others want to be treated the same way as themselves <– selfish. There is a Platinum Rule that supercedes the Golden Rulle : Treat others the way THEY would like to be treated! The Golden Rule is not only selfish but lazy as well! Big surprise? NO, look at how self centered the majority of the counrty is.

    November 20, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. Bobo

    @cj90210 no matter, this girl will grow up broke thanks to this president.

    November 20, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. sierrafoxtrot


    Not going to happen! the second term is under way so there is no political advantage gained by having that family for dinner @ the White House.

    November 20, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. sierrafoxtrot


    Yeah, real good reason to be proud...don't worry about the economy and the future of the country...as long as same sex marriage is legal everything else will fall into place...NOT

    November 20, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. Name JOHANNES Rensen

    This is beautiful and great for this Familie,and Thank you President Obama for sending a great letter to this Familie.We live in 2012 and the happiness for everybody is important .

    November 20, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. why

    Regardless of what we feel is right the Word of God has the absolute and final say. It isnt a matter of being judgmental it is a matter of loving somebody enough to let them know that what they r doing is putting there soul in jeopardy. The Bible says that it is confusion when two men get together. Its sad that we have little boys thinking they are little girls and little girls thinking they are little boys. It doesnt get more confusing than that. Now the DSM 5 states that gender identity issues are no longer mental health issues. Confusion at its finest. What man fails to realize is that no matter how hard he tries God will never come down to his debased and reprobate way of thinking

    November 20, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  13. Tinisha

    First Sophia you are a avery special little girl and you have two great loving parents. You shouls be extemely proud of your family.

    Second, what really gets me is those who constantly quote the bible and say that we all must follow his teachings and do what is states in the bible. You people do realize that there are things in the bible the God says we must do but no on in their right mind would do like displaying your rebellous child in the middle of town so that all the townsmen can stone him to death. I am strong beleiver in God but I also believe that the Bible is not a blueprint of how we should treat each other. It is not a mauel. The things that were condemed at that time are very different now. I think people take the words of those who translated the "words" of God, as far as we know the actual meaning of those translations could be completely different than what was written or what we currently believe; to literally.

    November 20, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. Anton


    Taking stances not popular with everyone.

    November 20, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. Marty, FL

    God bless President Obama–a man of true compassion and character.

    Still celebrating his re-election 🙂

    November 20, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  16. Larry L


    Great comment – as usual. Your Thomas Jefferson quote is proof of how brilliant the man was and how much he understood humanity. He never could have made it through today's Republican Primary.

    November 20, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. CBP

    The President deserves our praise. He validated this little girl's love for her parents and gave her unconditional support.

    This young girl reached out ot the President and he very kindly replied to her.

    November 20, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  18. MesaMax

    It is a shame that this person in the White House encourages immoral behaviour. Shameful.

    November 20, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  19. Tinisha

    @DJ just because she is being raised by two men it does not mean that she is missing out on anything. There are plenty of male/female parental households that are more determental to a child, you are a prime example. Did your parents ever tell you if you dont have something nice to say say nothing at all. A child deserves to be in a loving caring family. It doesn't matter if those parents are two men or two woman as long as they love her she will be just fine. Your idea a a perfect family may not be the same as someone else's. Many children that grow up in male/female parental homes are more screwed up than those growing up in gay families. You really need to grow up.

    November 20, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. fernace

    Barack Obama is a man of the People, for the People! Can any1 imagine a little 10 yr old girl writing this type of letter to Mitt Romney? I have to say I'm not just proud of the Persident, but also my fellow Americans who, because of your diversity & acceptance of the diverity of others, made the right choice for our nation & the World! These are todays choices in life: Accept people for who they are & go forward, don't & be left behind!I chose my path when I was Sophias age & have lived to appreciate it!!

    November 20, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. Smeagel4T

    “You have to be taught to hate and fear / You have to be taught from year to year / It has to be drummed in your dear little ear / You have to be carefully taught … to hate all the people your relatives hate.” - Rodgers & Hammerstein, South Pacific.

    November 20, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. GetEd

    Wilson - fine, so let other humans be stupid and get on with it. I do it too...for instance I didn't ask that stupid people
    be forbidden by law to vote for Bush, Romney, etc, etc.

    November 20, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  23. Larry Csehil

    So, a guy forged a letter to impress his 10 yr old daughter. Why is this news?

    November 20, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  24. Luis Lopez

    Sick!!!!! Oh! America judgment is coming.

    November 20, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. Larry in Houston

    can't wait til 2014 mid-terms get here. lol – If the "other side" keeps on this angry / hate filled / venomus / sarcastic / vitrol spewing / outrageous / roller coaster , and the more the "other channel" keeps on spewing it, – – hate to be a bearer of bad tidings, but they are in for a shock, come 2014 mid – terms. lol – It doesn't matter what "blog" you read or hear about – it's the same story everywhere – lol – I mean there is so much hate in this country, it's really pitiful . makes you wonder why people IS that way – Anyway – Hope everyone that reads – Have a Very Happy Thanksgiving !! Including you guys @ CNN !!

    November 20, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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