10-Year-Old Defends Same-Sex Marriage Before NY City Council

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kameron slade same sex marriageKameron Slade (pictured), a 10-year-old boy from Queens, New York delivered a speech in support of same-sex marriage before the New York City Council, the New York Times reports.

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Here is part of his speech below:

President Barack Obama recently talked about same-sex marriage with his wife and two daughters. Some people are for same-gender marriage, while others are against it,” Kameron said. “Like President Obama, I believe that all people should have the right to marry whoever they want. Marriage is about love, support and commitment. So who are we to judge?”

WATCH KAMERON DELIVER HIS SPEECH TO A LOCAL TV STATION

Kameron was invited to deliver his remarks by Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn. The Speaker has been married to her longtime partner since May.

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Kameron originally wrote his speech two months ago for a competition at Public School 195 in Rosedale, Queens. However, the principal of the school said it wasn’t acceptable, so he was barred from delivering it at first. But after robust media attention, he was allowed to give his speech at a separate assembly after the Education Department intervened.

The Times provides some background on how Kameron came up with the idea speaking on gay marriage:

Kameron’s mother, April Grantham-Slade, said she sat down with him in May, when he first came home with his assignment from class. Ms. Grantham-Slade said Kameron told her he wanted to speak on a topic his fellow classmates had not discussed much. So they began to brainstorm. Earlier that month, Mr. Obama announced he was supporting same-sex marriage, a move seen by some as purely political but by others as an act of bravery. For Kameron, it was a prime chance to bring that national discussion to his peers.

“Sometimes we’ll be walking down the street and we’ll see two men or two women holding hands; and he gets that,” Ms. Grantham-Slade said. “I want my children to be accepting.”

Kameron recalled the time he and his mother went on a farm trip with two of his mother’s friends, who are lesbians, to the full Council chamber. “They seemed like any other family,” he said. “The only difference was that they were two moms instead of a mother and father.”

Council members thanked Kameron for delivering his speech and encouraged him to continue speaking his mind on tough issues. Also in attendance were his parents and grandfather. One Council member listening to Kameron deliver his remarks was especially pleased.

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“I’m getting married on Saturday, in three days, to my partner of 13 and a half years,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, a Democrat. “When I saw you on TV, I thought you were the most courageous and wonderful young man I’ve ever seen.”

Kameron said he was pretty self-assured about his speech and enjoyed the experience of addressing a chamber of high-level officials.

“I felt very confident when I was doing it,” he said after he finished. “I feel honored because not many people get to do this.”

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