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Video: 12-year-old writes to US Supreme Court justice urging strike-down of Proposition 8

Joseph McCormick March 18, 2013

A 12-year-old in California has written a letter to a Supreme Court justice, urging him to strike down Proposition 8, the state-wide ban on equal marriage.

Daniel Martinez-Leffew, who was adopted along with his sister, by his dads, wrote the letter to Justice John Roberts urging him to strike down Prop 8, but saying that he understands it is a “tough decision”.

The video, introduced by his father Bryan, who says that Daniel heard that Justice Roberts also has two adopted children and decided, of his own accord, to write a letter to him. He says Daniel and his sister thought: “Hey, his family is just like ours”.

He says: “We were adopted when I was five, and my sister was about 12 months old. When I was in foster care, I was told that I was considered ‘unadoptable’ because of my Goldenhar Syndrome.

“That is a genetic disorder that affects the whole left side of my body. I lost my little brother Emilio because some people wanted to adopt him but they weren’t willing to adopt me because of my medical conditions.  Lucky for me, that’s when my two dads came along.”

“I recently found out that you, yourself adopted two kids, a boy and a girl, kind of like me and my sister. Family means a lot of different things to f different people. But some people believe you have to have the same blood to be a family.

“You and I both know that family goes deeper than blood. I was lucky to be adopted by two guys I can both call dad. They give me and my sister so much love.

“My dads really encouraged me to excel in life. Since I want to be a cook, when I grow up, they are letting me take cooking classes. My parents want me to improve, whether its school work, or my social life.

“I know you have a tough decision to make with the gay marriage issue, but my family is just as valuable and worthwhile as any other. It’s especially tough for you, because I know you don’t necessarily believe in gay marriage religiously, but lucky for us, you also don’t believe in taking away a right, even from people like us.”

“If Prop 8 is allowed to stand, imagine the pain we would feel knowing that we are not considered equal to everyone else. It’s important that all families are protected and valued.”

On 26 March, the court will take up the case of whether to overturn Proposition 8, which in 2008 added a clause to the Californian constitution stating that marriage could only be recognised by the state if it were between a man and a woman, causing widespread controversy.

The Supreme Court is also due on 27 March to hear evidence around the case of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, passed under President Bill Clinton in 1996.

Last week, the head of a well-known law firm and top attorney said that he expects the US Supreme Court to resoundingly support equal marriage, when it takes on two cases challenging equal marriage bans in America.

Earlier today, the former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, officially announced her support for equal marriage in a moving speech in which she calls moves towards equality “breathtaking and inspiring”.

More: Americas, California, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, justice john roberts, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, prop 8, Proposition 8, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, supreme court, US, wedding

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