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. Mina

    I don't understand why people hate so much !! My sister and her wife welcomed my nephew (my sister carried and delivered) on February 1st. My sister had always wanted to get married and have children. I don't think it is wrong at all! It's amazing that my nephew has 2 moms and I know he will grow up to be a strong smart independent man! I am so happy that I live in a state that understands that love is love period! Just think about the one person you love more than life itself and how that person makes you feel ...now try to think about being told you cannot marry that person because of something that an old dead guy wrote in a book centuries ago who heard voices in his head hmmmmmm.... It's 2012 people get with it!

    November 21, 2012 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  2. Edward

    So glad that the party of bigots lost the election and they should take note that if they continue their hatred they will continue losing. Any party that promotes discrimination against fellow Americans, or anyone else for that matter, does not deserve the right to represent the people they so despise. Contrary to what some believe, this generation is far superior to those that have come before it.

    November 21, 2012 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  3. yt

    For to legalize gay marriage shows rhat he does not support procreation. A question pls, the one who did this, is he a product of gay marriage

    November 21, 2012 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  4. smitty

    If I'm a true Christian I have to live my life by the standards in the Bible because I believe it is God's word. The Bible clearly says that homosexuality is wrong. Morality standards do not change

    November 21, 2012 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  5. david

    I am a straight living in iran where it's leader kills his daughters instead of responding them.I'm truly glad to see the world is being led by someone who respects any gender,race.belief and cares about their issues whether they are in minority or majority.Although i'm always a little annoyed by his reaction against our green movement.I wish him the best.

    November 21, 2012 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  6. a disgrace but you voted for him

    with the fiscal cliff a major problem for a already near failing america there is growing talk of obama being impeached for going back on vacation a week after he was re elected!

    November 21, 2012 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  7. Caspar Mulders

    Nobody has any right to decide on the love-life of any adult. There are plenty of heterosexual, Republican-voting, God-fearing people who are completely lousy parents, and there are plenty of homosexual couples who (would) make great parents for an (adopted) child. Bigotry should be a source of shame, not a basis for making laws. The civilized world has realized this, and it is, as usual, only the backwards states (fortunately only about half of the US) that lag 30-50 years behind.

    The bigoted, senile and religious fundamentalist GOP is dying. It is losing the young voters, and desperately trying to cling on to the conservative elderly. Unless it chooses to reinvent itself in a form that does fit in the modern world, it will go the way of the Whigs.

    If America is to be the Land of the Free once again, it cannot enforce 19th century Victorian views on sexual morality. It's the one or the other.

    November 21, 2012 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  8. Hm

    That is case closed! Men and women can make a family!

    November 21, 2012 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  9. Hm

    GOD MADE ADAM AND EVE! That is how it should stay!

    November 21, 2012 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  10. nick

    Poor girl, wait until she grows up. Whos your daddy n whos you mamma?

    November 21, 2012 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  11. Hm

    Yes,I have gay friends! But,I don't like what they are doing and they understand that.

    November 21, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  12. Austin Charles

    I don't know that in this world people have two fathers and one mother. This world is changing rapidly. Congratulations Mr B. Obama on your reelect as the US president.

    November 21, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  13. Jesten

    Bravo Mr. President.

    November 21, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  14. oyindamola

    if this is the new america face ,i bilieve instead of the grace of the almighty taking place there it will be the hell fire verry soon in united state of america where by only one man and his family(husband wife and chidrent ,amd if possible grand parent)will escape!!!

    November 21, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  15. LCSWquilter

    I hope this makes the other children at Sophia's school pause to consider how their efforts to marginalize her for the actions of her parents are cruel. How many children across this country unjustly endure incivility for this reason? I'm so glad she is shaking off the shame others are trying to impose on her. She's a strong little girl, thanks to her loving fathers - and now with the support of the President. Stay strong, Sophia!

    November 21, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  16. Me. Human

    I'm sure mitt Romney is available for dinner.

    November 21, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  17. Derek

    You sad people that enjoy judging others in this thread are the first one's to cry "foul" when the light is turned upon your lives to be judged. I find that ironic, such hypocrites.

    Don't throw stones when you live in a glass house.

    November 21, 2012 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  18. Vanessa m

    What an AWSOME story. Her dads must be so proud

    November 21, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  19. Vanessa m

    People who dislike equal rights for GLBT Americans I have one question...
    Why do you all hang on stories about GLBT issues? Same names,,, same foul comments.
    Post on a story that you enjoy reading instead of hopping from one story to another posting filfth. Bullies is what some of you are

    November 21, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  20. Casey

    That was a great read. I enjoyed both letters despite the ignorance n the comments. It's nice to see a happy family alowed to be happy. She seems like a lovely little girl.

    November 21, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  21. Justmee

    No two families look the same..... The president says its ok to disobey the bible but.....One man can not have 2 wives and that is OK in the bible.. Mr. President, If you truely believe that no two families looks the same, Then you need to make plural marriages ok in the USA. Thank you..

    November 21, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  22. Vanessa m

    This little girl will probably grow up more well adjusted and excepting of all people than kids raised in a two parent traditional family. It didn't effect my cousins or my friends being raised by same sex parents in the 1970s! All 13 of those kids grew up fine and didn't turn gay! It was normal to see diff family dynamics growing up. My family is a mix of all!! I love it! Gay strait black white American indian Haitian Christian Jewish etc. It's An American Family!!

    November 21, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  23. gokili

    strange!tolerance?.i live in africa and in my life,am 52 yrs i never seen a dog,donkey,a cat or even a chicken have sex with a same sex partner

    November 21, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  24. t-man

    No MATTER HOW MANKIND paint s the picture, marriage is defined by God as being between a man and woman. God is the final authority on marriage.

    November 21, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  25. hank kelly

    It's great to have a President who doesn't have to demonize a minority of America's citizens. I love you Mr President. I'm gay, an Air Force combat vet. I served while chicken hawks swerved.

    November 21, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
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