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Kameron Slade is in the fifth-grade at PS 195 in Rosedale, Queens. Over two months ago, when he was assigned to write a speech, he went home and told his mom he wanted to write on something that was not discussed much. It was just about the time that President Obama had publicly supported same-sex marriage. This was the topic –with his mom’s support– Kameron Slade chose to write about.
Kameron won the class competition but was not allowed to deliver his speech to the school-wide competition. Principal Beryl Bailey deemed the topic inappropriate. At the school assembly, Kameron gave a speech on animal cruelty.
Meanwhile, Kameron’s story went viral, broadcast all over the Internet.
With Commission Dennis Walcott’s intervention, a few days later, the speech was delivered to his fellow fifth graders; the principal had time to alert parents.
On Wednesday, July 25, Kameron Slade was highly rewarded for such guts and independent thinking. At City Hall Council Chambers, Kameron received a citation and then, with the full City Council in attendance, Kameron redelivered his speech to a captive audience.
Among City Council members standing with the young statesman was Speaker Christine Quinn who married her female life partner in May and Queens City Council member Jimmy Van Brammer, who told the assembled he was getting married the upcoming weekend.
Before he began, Kameron said, “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 his speech, he refers to spending time with two women, his mother’s friends who are in a relationship. “They seemed like any other family,” he said. “The only difference was that they were two moms instead of a mother and father.”
During the presentation, Councilman Van Brammer said, “When I saw you on TV, I thought you were the most courageous and wonderful young man I’ve ever seen.”
The legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State is at its one-year anniversary. Over 10,000 marriage licenses have been issued to same sex couples since late July, last year, when the law went into effect.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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