Ready to have your heart warmed? Seriously. Are you ready? Because a sixth grader named Cameron from North Carolina wrote a killer letter to Justice Sonia Sotomayor about the DOMA case scheduled to be argued before the Supreme Court on March 27. Here's what she wrote:
My name is Cameron. I am eleven years old and I am currently in the 6th grade [in North Carolina]. I am the daughter of Susan and Sheila. I watched President Obama’s inauguration speech today and my parents pointed you out to me. They informed me that although President Obama is leading the fight for my parents to be treated equally, you and the other justices will be making very important decisions in the next few months. I know you are busy, but I hope you have time to read this letter.
My parents have been together for 26 years. They took me to New York on their 25th anniversary so that they could be legally married. I was so happy for them. They are the best parents a kid could ask for and I love them so much. I would like to see their marriage recognized here in our home state. Please look at our photos and think of us when you make decisions based on gay rights. We are a family. I am very proud of my parents and I hope you understand how your decision will affect my family.
If you have any concerns about the welfare of kids of gay parents, I can tell you that I am doing great. I am so loved. Everyone I know tells me I am such a lucky kid. My parents are my life. They quiz me before tests and make sure that I am doing well in school. I was the top student in my class last year and have made Headmaster’s List every 6 weeks. I play travel soccer and I am currently trying out for the Olympic Development Program which means they dedicate most of their weekends to traveling all over the state so that I can compete against other teams. I also play tennis. A couple of years ago I collected 200 soccer balls and sent them to Liberia for kids who do not have soccer balls. I have many good friends who love my parents. I have never been teased. I think things are going very well. Thank you for your time.
CameronThat's one amazing letter. Here's the Justice's response:
Thank you for writing to me. I always enjoy reading letters from young students.
Unfortunately, I cannot comment on issues that might one day come before the Court, so I am unable to respond to your letter regarding marriage. I encourage you, however, to continue to think about the many important issues that impact our society.
I know dreams can come true when you work hard to achieve them. In the years to come, I wish you the joy of dreaming big, working hard, and succeeding in all you do.
With warmest regards,I have mixed feelings about kids with gay and lesbian parents sticking up for their parents. Mostly, I wish they didn't have to do it but it doesn't stop me from feeling proud of this girl for writing such a wonderful letter to Justice Sotomayor. I love how Cameron understands the time her parents spend with her, helping her, and the ways they show their love through activities such as spending their weekends driving her to soccer games. I also like that she highlights that her parents have been together for a quarter of a century and that being married was really important to them. She's obviously just young enough (or her parents are superheros) that she hasn't hit the age where all parents are the devil.
I wish she didn't feel the need to show all the ways she is a fantastic kid through her achievements, not because there is anything wrong with it, just that I wish she didn't feel that the court might value her family more because she's a great student who plays soccer and engages in community service. I worry sometimes that our kids feel they have to overachieve to be an example of why our families are just as good (or better) than others in the same way some of us felt the need to overachieve to "make up" for being gay.
But that's a lot of griping about the letter that is perfect. If these are the kids we're raising in the same-sex parent families, we're doing a damn fine job and the future looks bright. Susan and Sheila have a great kid and I hope she'll heed Justice Sotomayor's advice to embrace "the joy of dreaming big, working hard, and succeeding in all you do."