Fifth-grader Kameron Slade’s speech on marriage equality is surely a winner. Last month, it disqualified him from his school’s speech competition because the principal said that the content was “inappropriate.” But Kameron shared his speech with news station NY1, and hundreds of thousands of people watched it through ThinkProgress or other outlets. The following week, the principal offered the “compromise” of allowing Kameron to read his speech just to his classmates.
But Kameron was destined for more. Moved by his words, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) invited him to give his speech before the Council. Quinn noted that it was the day after the state celebrated one full year of marriage equality. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D), who is marrying his partner this weekend, described Kameron as “the most courageous and wonderful young man I’ve ever seen.” Here again are Kameron’s simple but powerful words as he presented them to the New York City Council:
SLADE: Some people are for same-gender marriage, while others are against it. 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 all differences.[…]
My mom is very open with me about same-gender marriage. However, some adults may feel uncomfortable and think it’s inappropriate to talk about this to children. I think adults must realize that as children get older, they become aware of these mature issues that are going on in the world. If children read or watch the news, they can also learn about things like same-gender marriage, so what’s the point in trying to hide it?
In conclusion, I hope that everyone understands how important it is to respect everyone for who they are. Same-gender marriage is becoming more popular. I believe that same-gender marriage should be accepted worldwide and that parents and teachers should start to discuss these issues without shame to their children.