Out of the Mouths of Babes: 10-Year-Old Speaks in Favor of Gay Marriage Before the New York City Council

Kameron Slade gets to voice his opinion in front of politicians after his speech was originally banned at school.

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“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? If we judge people like this, this is a form of prejudice. We must learn to accept and respect all differences.”

These sound like the words of a seasoned politician or activist — but no, this missive came from the mouth of a 10-year-old.

Originally Kameron Slade’s intended audience was his classmates, not New York City councilmen; he wrote the speech two months ago to enter into a student competition at P.S. 195 in Queens. Slade hoped to broach a little-discussed topic with his peers, prompted by President Barack Obama endorsing gay marriage in May. But his principal, Beryl Bailey, forbade Kameron from delivering the speech, judging it inappropriate for the school setting.

(READ: Gay Marriage in the Swing States: Where Will Obama’s ‘Evolution’ Matter?)

Slade skyrocketed to Internet stardom when local news stations covered his story. A video of Slade delivering his speech has over 600,000 hits on YouTube. With the publicity, Slade’s fight soon became one of social acceptance and freedom of speech. The Education Department had its say on the matter, and the school eventually gave in and permitted him to give his speech at an assembly.

Democratic Council speaker Christine C. Quinn—who herself wed her longtime partner, Kim M. Catullo, in May—invited Slade to present his speech to the City Council Chambers the day after the one-year anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State. In his speech, Slade recalls the time when he “hung out” for a day with his mother’s friends, a lesbian couple:

“This family seemed like any other family. They seemed happy, and best of all, they seemed to love each other. The only difference was that they were two moms instead of a mother and a father.”

MORE: Money Honey: Gay Marriages Bring in$259 Million for New York City 

44 comments
HumanityBlows
HumanityBlows

Wow, this kid memorized his lines pretty well. Shame on his parents for putting him up to this, essentially using him as a pawn in their liberal games. He should be taken away from them.

paige.kosa
paige.kosa

Am I the only one who realizes that what that little boy did, whether you agree with it or not, is incredibly brave of him? He stood up in front of a bunch of adults and told them what he thought. If I was his age, I would be to scared and intimidated to do such a thing! Good job, buddy!

HumanityBlows
HumanityBlows

@paige.kosa He didn't tell them what he thought, he told them was he was INSTRUCTED to say. How gullible are you?

paige.kosa
paige.kosa

@HumanityBlows @paige.kosa Why is it that homophobic butt faces like you have access to the internet? Go ahead, call me gullible. The last time I checked, you were gullible enough to believe what your parents told you, that two people can't love each other because of their gender. Also, another thing. Shut your pie hole. You have no right to bring in your bigot views, so why don't you keep them where the belong. In the past. The last time I checked, this little boy made that speech, not you, and not anyone else. You don't need to get your panties in a bunch because this little boy was a bigger person than you.

P.S. In response to your commment aboe mine, the last time I check, teaching your kids to love and accept others was not grounds for them to be taken away from their parents. 

RandyKelley
RandyKelley

Youthful ignorance understood.....he will grow up some day, hopefully true to "nature".

CodyRace
CodyRace

When reading these comment arguments I always notice that one point in particular seems to be almost entirely ignored: the separation of church and state. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" decrees that church life of ANY religion will not be interfered with. That means that religions - or non-religions, like atheism - can marry whomever they please, including anyone of the LGBT ilk. Also (but not so easily quoted) included is the provision that churches will not interfere with the government. Any speaker, lobbyist, or politician using the bible or other religious scripture to back up their position should have that particular point of argument immediately discounted.

Those who spout anti-gay rhetoric are indeed correct about one thing: marriage is an institution and social structure. A SOCIAL structure. Part of public life, which the government (remember, separated from church!) is allowed to regulate. Allowing a religiously based opinion to affect decisions on that subject violates the constitution. Indeed, these pillars of society have been destroyed and rebuilt before, making America a better, more tolerant place. Interracial marriage (as a clearly random example) used to be outlawed - look how that turned out.

One anti-gay point is that homosexuals cannot produce offspring (which with medical practices such as surrogate mothers and artificial insemination is becoming a bit of a semi-truth). Neither can many straight couples. If this were a valid point, having kid or being pregnant would be required BEFORE marriage. However, it is not required at any time before, during or after the marriage. And again, the only people making that argument are churchgoers. Say it with me, everyone: "Separation of Church and State."

CarrieBethWhite
CarrieBethWhite

@CodyRace The Seperation of Church And State Doesnt HAve Anything To Do With MArriage. Back when the Constitution was written . Seperation of Church & State Meant That The Government Has To Respect The Religious Sacraments. Holy Anointing Oil in one of the 5 Ingredients is Cannabis. There Isnt Anything In The 10 Commandments Or The Constitution About Drugs. Only Says It About ALCOHOL In 10 Commandments.  People HAve Gotten Away From The Original MEssage. Just Like Jesus' Original Message. WE've Been Misled for Over 2000 Years. It Was PRophesied That We Would Be Misled, By False PRophets False PRophecies False Religion & False Teachings. Man Cannot & Shall Not Be Gods. There IS Only One God & One God Only. Anyone That Prays To Jesus Or Any Likeness Of Him Is Serving A False Idol. That's Breaking One Of The 10 Commandments. EVERYONE Was Created As Equal! Thats Why Our Constitution Was Written Of By & For The People. They Are God Given Rights. Not Like All The Other Countries That WEre Of By & For The Elite! We HAve A Different Kind Of Government That WE The People Need To Get Our Empowerment BAck To Take Out This Tyranny Of A Government. Until We Do That It's Just Gonna Keep HAppening. God Wont Bless America Until She Repents!

1776
1776

@CodyRace I'll start this with saying I really don't care (as long as all parties are consenting human adults) who marries whom, or where.  But, two questions:

1) Your argument is "religions..can marry whomever they please." Where is the line? Can a church marry a man to multiple wives? Or a child bride? Or a mule or toaster if this is what they want?

2) If gay marriage is allowed should the government be allowed to force a church to do it, even if they believe it sinful?

RandyKelley
RandyKelley like.author.displayName 1 Like

@CodyRace All opinions are welcome in a democratic republic (whew, that was hard, 8 words).  Grow up, those pro-marriage are not necessarily anti-gay, though the two are closely related, and maybe the gays will grow up some day.

Ed Lein
Ed Lein like.author.displayName 1 Like

It's disheartening (but not surprising) that anyone could object to hearing about loving families and about respect and tolerance for others. We know that hate and fear of people who are different from ourselves aren't things we are born with. Parents teach their children their prejudices, and that has to be one of the reasons suicide rates are so much higher among gay teens--because their parents and churches and Fox News and Chick-fil-A have taught them that they are monsters not worthy of love, when in fact these children are just ordinary kids who want to love and be loved.  But loving parents will teach their children to love and respect all their neighbors, regardless of personal differences.

As a society we are constantly subjected to the intolerant "outrage" and bigotry of the petty, closed-minded folks who try to make life difficult for those who don't share their narrow religious views.  America's children are subjected to a constant barrage of  hatred spewed trying to convince anyone who'll listen that one group is superior to everyone else, so only their rights matter, and so they obviously are entitled to oppress minorities and to limit the civil rights of others. Children are routinely subjected to the lie that preaches that when Jesus taught "love thy neighbor," he mistakenly left off the part about "but only if the neighbors look like you and believe exactly what you believe." Our children are subjected to the "Christian love" shared by Westboro Baptist Church, and to the disrespect for our fallen soldiers these Good Baptists so righteously proclaim.

Simply disagreeing with someone's religious views isn't bigoted or hateful, as the truly intolerant would try to convince us. For instance, even though the Amish have a very restrictive view of how "good Christian folk" should live--and they actually practice what they preach--nobody has a problem with their beliefs because the Amish don't try to force their religious views into becoming laws that everyone else must abide by.

American law allows consenting adult couples to marry.  Except, for example, if half of the couple isn't a man, the law in many places denies that couple from entering into the financial, emotional, and spiritual relationship that it allows for couples where one of them is a man.  There are several countries and several states that already allow legal marriage contracts between any two consenting adults who are otherwise unattached, and who are willing to make the emotional, financial, and, for many, spiritual commitment to each other to join together as a family.  The laws that allow that contract in no way change how any other person in those places practices his or her religion.  Allowing one couple the same civil right given other couples in no way prevents any group--Mormons, Muslims, Amish, Lutherans, Jews, Catholics, etc.--from holding, expressing and practicing their personal faith. But preventing a couple from enjoying the civil rights given other couples, discriminating on the basis of gender, prevents that couple from achieving the full financial, emotional, and spiritual potential that the law otherwise would encourage.  

No one disrespects the right to have personal faith and to live life according to it.  But the willingness to use religion as an excuse to cause continuing harm to the financial, emotional and spiritual well-being of others is a different matter. 

Standing up for the civil rights of others can never rightly be defined as "intolerance."  But trying to force others to live their lives according to any one group's religious views is downright un-American. The bigots' personal rights are not at risk--no one is telling them how to live their lives. The Constitution says they can believe and preach what they will. But it gives all of us--not just them--the right to our own beliefs.  Everyone can practice a chosen faith openly, but the government doesn't have the right to impose Fred Phelps', or the Pope's, or Mitt Romney's, or Tom Cruise's, or anybody else's religious views on the rest of us.

Fortunately, the majority of Americans, especially among younger folks such as this upstanding youth, are becoming more openminded and approving of diversity. Outlawing racial apartheid in this country was a long time coming; hopefully full civil rights for everyone won't be too far off, despite the whining of folks who refuse to accept that all of us "are created equal."

Ed Lein
Ed Lein

After a little more research, I have to amend my original premise. Religious marriage ceremonies for gay couples have been ongoing at least since 1969, and there reportedly are more than 6,000 marriage ceremonies performed annually for gay couples in just a single denomination. 

So I guess it's mostly incorrect to say that the "emotional and spiritual" aspects of marriage have been denied, since these aspects obviously have been an important part of life for many gay couples for decades. 

But this reveals that it is also a false assumption that gay marriage would suddenly tear the fabric of society.  The institution of marriage as a religious rite already has embraced same-gender pairings for over 40 years--and its proven impact has been that nobody even noticed.   

Currently seven states have legalized gay marriage: Iowa, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire--plus Washington D.C. (Washington and Maryland are sort of the eighth and ninth states, but their laws are being challenged; Maine will vote on it in November.)

Twelve more states recognize civil unions for gay couples, granting some but not all of the legal benefits of marriage: New Jersey, Rhode Island, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, Wisconsin, California, and Washington.

It's about time that our civil rights laws everywhere catch up.

http://www.hrc.org/resources/e...

RandyKelley
RandyKelley

@Ed Lein Exactly, right.  No one noticed due to the lack of bullying by those promoting same sex fill-in-the-blank to force their religion on others.

TheWanderer
TheWanderer

>

>> Are you saying any pairing between consenting adults is OK? 

>> So polygamy is o.k.?  Three men can marry?  How about incest

>> between consenting adults?  How about transgendered

>> (the "T" in LGBT) people - those who are one gender, but

>> publicly act as the other gender - in marriage? 

>

Yup... I don't have a problem with any of them.

>

>>  Are there no standards?

>

Oh I think there should be standards. Those who marry should be consenting adults. I think there should also be love involved, but I think that's pretty personal and not something you can legislate. Certainly there is no law - local, state, or federal - that requires that "straight" people prove that they are in love before they get married.

Jose Tadeo
Jose Tadeo

I don't hate or discriminate homosexuals. They're humans too. But I'm not in favor of gay marriage. As well as other things such as premarital sex. Why? Because they are all sins. BUT, here's the catch. There is no such law that bans premarital sex. Or is there? It's a sin, so why isn't there a law against it?

I just don't think the government should interfere with marriage. It's already losing it's true meaning and bringing it up politically is just making it worse. Just let the people chose if they want to sin or not.

realitybitesandsodoi
realitybitesandsodoi

Law and Religion are two separate entities. We do not make laws based on "sins".  

You say let people choose to "sin" or not, but yet don't want to allow gay marriage. If you're against it, just don't marry a man, but don't withhold the rights of others to do what they want.

RandyKelley
RandyKelley

@realitybitesandsodoi Try again, most of the laws on the books are primarily based on "sins" standardized by various religions.  As well as  not ruling out simple common sense, which is the overriding factor in this debate on same sex fill-in-the-blank.

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson

Your are right that we do not "make laws based on 'sins'". Perhaps we should, but we do not. Where you err is where you dream that you have a rebuttal with "If you're against it, just don't marry a man". For marriage is not just an agreement between two individuals, it is a social institution. That is WHY until very recently, most people, even the overwhelming majority of married people, hold marriage in a public ceremony, with witnesses. As such, it is NOT just an issue of rights of the two individuals, it concerns the whole society when such a radical change is made to the institution.

realitybitesandsodoi
realitybitesandsodoi

No, we most definitely should not make laws based on "sin". I don't believe in god, heaven, hell, religion or sin. Freedom of religion in the US also includes the freedom to not have a religion. Religion has no place in our legal system and no one should be forced to follow the religious beliefs of another. That is why our country was founded in the first place.

Marriage is a social tradition, yes, but it's also just a legal contract and should not discriminate between any citizens. Gay people would also enjoy the social tradition aspect of celebrating their union with their friends and family. Your argument is nothing but an attempt at justifying your own bigoted beliefs.

R-Cynic
R-Cynic

They're only sins if you are a follower of judeo-christian beliefs. To expect all humans to believe your creed is arrogant.

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson

Not true. They are sins under other belief systems too, such as Buddhism, where sexual immorality, including homosexual acts, is classified as one of the 'gokai', the five sins forbidden to Buddhist laymen.

Of course in today's political environment, it is easy to find turncoats who will cough up rationalizations to deny that homosexual acts have always been included as 'gokai', but that only proves that such dishonesty is not confined to Christians after all:(

MoralActivist
MoralActivist

Now we see the real evidence that the NYCC is as dumb as a ten-year old!

TheWanderer
TheWanderer

>

>> Any moral culture must ALWAYS wisely discriminate against certain pairings. 

>

Well, that pretty much puts the two positions in stark contrast because some of us don't discriminate against ANY pairings between consenting adults. If there is love, there should be acceptance. There is so much distrust and outright hate in the world that I don't think there should be limits on love between consenting adults.

I have heard so many of the arguments, "harms the family, it is against nature, and it is forbidden across history" put forward to legitimize discrimination for other "pairings" such as interracial marriage. Today, while some still think that interracial marriage is "unnatural", it has become generally accepted by the mainstream of American society. Perhaps someday we will reach the same wise attitude toward homosexual marriages.

RandyKelley
RandyKelley

@TheWanderer One of the problems with same-sex fill-in-the-blank, is that "argument" about "love".  Why should anything "legal" have any argument based in a fleeing/dynamic emotion.  The problem here is that most of the arguments "for" same sex fill-in-the-blank use adolescently based attitudes and behaviors instead of true "adult" maturity (other than the "words" consenting "adults" that is.)

Acceptance doesn't mean "right".  Society has "accepted" that certain segments will be obese, alcoholic, addicted, etc, and deals wth those semi-appropriately.  No wonder gays are looking for "acceptance".

tigerblue78
tigerblue78

Are you saying any pairing between consenting adults is OK?  So polygamy is o.k.?  Three men can marry?  How about incest between consenting adults?  How about transgendered (the "T" in LGBT) people - those who are one gender, but publicly act as the other gender - in marriage?   Are there no standards?

Our culture is rapidly attempting to eliminate gender by saying there is no difference between men and women.  We progress down this slippery slope to our own hurt with great damage to the family and to children.  While men and women are equal in value, there is no substitute for mothers in a family as their is no substitute for fathers.  (With great respect to many single moms and dads who do heroic parenting - it's just much harder alone and forgets the original design)

Sarah Conte
Sarah Conte

I would say that yes, any consenting adults who choose to commit to one another should be allowed to do so.  I don't care about polygamy (as long as no one is being exploited within the relationship; though that occurs in typical hetero marriage as well), and people who are transgender are human too and well capable of love(btw, they are one "sex" but feel that their gender is different from their sex.  Important distinction, but one often missed, because we use those words interchangeably in the U.S.  They're not the same thing at all).  If they are consenting adults then they should go for it.  I do have a slight issue with incest as there is a concern for passing along genetic defects, but. . .my opinion, that is theirs to deal with, not mine.  

Our culture is attempting to adjust to better reflect that there is no such thing as a gender, or even a sexual binary.  EVERYTHING about humans (and I do mean everything) is a continuum.  "Man" and "Woman" refer to gender, the psychosocial aspect of one's identity.  Between them lie many variations, such as those who are transgender, genderqueer, etc.  "Male" and "Female" refer to sex, that is the aspect of the body, but they are not binary either.  There are many shades of grey, known as intersex conditions, in which the body may have both or neither sexual organ.  And finally, sexuality, the way in which we refer to which sex/gender we are attracted, is a continuum as well.  "Gay" may be on one end and "Straight" on another, but most of us fall somewhere in the middle (admittedly, most of us probably fall pretty close to the ends of the spectrum in all of these aspects, but the extreme middle does exist in all of the above).  Regardless of where we find ourselves on these three (rather rudimentary) continua, we are all human and all deserving of the basic rights and respect which is presently only afforded to heterosexual couples who happen to be lucky enough to find themselves in the "right" place at the "right" time.  Nonsense.  We've evolved far enough to understand that there is a place at the table for everyone.

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson

"I would say that yes...", you say. But why? Other than that it sounds vaguely more 'liberal', letting people do what they want to do? Letting people do what they want to do is not the pure goodness you seem to imagine it is.

R-Cynic
R-Cynic

Now now, calm down there tiger... the only person saying all that would be...you! Can't possibly see how its any of your business, or mine for that matter

tigerblue78
tigerblue78

Marriage is between one man and one woman.  Any moral culture must ALWAYS wisely discriminate against certain pairings.  We don't allow children to marry each other or adults.  We don't allow three people to marry.   It harms the family, it is against nature, and it is forbidden across history by the vast majority of cultures and religious systems.  The Bible expressly warns against it.

Rejecting marriage for homosexuals doesn't mean rejecting homosexuals.  The opposition is to the practice, not the person. 

Using a child to further this propaganda campaign is repugnant.

For an excellent discusion of why marriage should be reserved for one woman and one man the following link leads to an excellent article.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/...

margarita
margarita

 why do you care?! Marry who you like, but it isn't your place or your right to limit other people's marital choices. If you think gay marriage is immoral then don't have a gay marriage. Leave every one else alone to figure out the fate of their eternal soul. Not everyone believes what you believe, and interfering in the private choices of others is just imposing your own faith amp; unconstitutional.

    amp; since you brought up the Bible, Christ also said love one another and judge not lest ye be judged, so maybe you should look at the beam in your own eye before you start attacking the mote you think you see in someone else's.

RandyKelley
RandyKelley like.author.displayName 1 Like

@margarita If you believe that way, you need to go to a communist country where opinions of "THE PEOPLE" do not matter.  Here in America, the government is BY THE PEOPLE and ENCOURAGES discussion and action based on religious thought.  Why do you think "Freedom from Religion" folks are active? Because they can't (under)stand religious thought.  It bogs their (under)minds.

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson like.author.displayName 1 Like

Why does tigierblue care? Because tigerblue realizes something you deny: that marriage is NOT just a pact between two individuals, it is a social institution. As a social institution, it has an effect on ALL the people living in that society.

The effect that calling a bond between two men or two women 'marriage' will have cannot be a good one, even if it is hard to be convincingly definite about what it will be and when it will be felt.

iTz L3G3ND³
iTz L3G3ND³

Exploiting little kids? These folks are reaching new heights of mental illness.  I find it hard to believe whats going on in this Country. If the world ended today, most of us would probably deserve to burn in hell. End of discussion.

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you that it is exploiting the 10 year old, but that wasn't much of a discussion you offered:(

realitybitesandsodoi
realitybitesandsodoi

Yeah, because teaching tolerance and compassion for others is just horrible isn't it. I suppose you are OK with the children being used to hold signs that say "god hates fags"?

Winston Blake
Winston Blake

Like marketing Muppet toys for children with an exploitive, foul agenda?

Chicken sandwiches?

(3 puns intended, one by homonym)

Winston Blake
Winston Blake

Just like the makers of the Muppets... exploiting children to market their foul ideas...

Chicken sandwiches?

(3 puns intended)

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson like.author.displayName 1 Like

If the 10 year old had told the truth, such as that a 10 year old is in NO position to understand what marriage is about, people would not be applauding him as "wise beyond his years".

Winston Blake
Winston Blake like.author.displayName 1 Like

Maybe they had better check to see if he was at a football camp with Jerry Sandusky...

William Lee Barnes
William Lee Barnes

You are SO not listening. Yes, even a 10 year old can recognize 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?” Why is that? It's because parents, as being the most important persons for the child's well-being, ANY COUPLE in the position of taking care of ANY KID needs to have these qualities: love, support and commitment. Kids just aren't as naive as you think they are.

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson like.author.displayName 1 Like

No, I am listening very well. It is you who fails to listen, because you really, really LIKE the idea that the child spoke the truth, even though really, he did not. He simply repeated politically popular platitudes, without understanding their real implication -- just as do a lot of adults.

BTW: it is ironic that you ask, "who are we to judge", because you are judging  anyway, without answering your own question.

Winston Blake
Winston Blake like.author.displayName 1 Like

He is just doing what he was told to by meddling adults, maybe a football coach from someplace like Penn State?

Jackson
Jackson

my best

friend's aunt earned $14376 the previous month. she makes money on the

internet and moved in a $480600 home. All she did was get lucky and put

to work the directions revealed on this site http://LazyCash49.com

TheWanderer
TheWanderer

The parents of this young man should be proud. They have raised an intelligent, compassionate, child with wisdom beyond his years. Hearing such words from one so young gives me renewed hope that there will be those in the next generation that have the compassion and the vision to carry forward the best that we as a people, as a race of humans have to offer.

A note to Kameron Slade:

Let no one tell you that your words are misguided, wrong, or evil. You have great insight into the hearts of others. Never lose this; never doubt this; never let others silence this. It will be on the shoulders of you, and others like you, to carry dignity, love, and justice forward into the future of this country. I wish you all the best.

HumanityBlows
HumanityBlows

@TheWanderer It's hilarious that you're so gullible as to believe that he actually wrote his speech. Thanks for the laugh!!