Kids Today

WATCH: NYC School Bans Fifth-Grader From Giving Awesome Pro-Gay-Marriage Speech

OMG! Can we give this boy a big ol’ high five? Fifth-grader Kameron Slade from Queens, New York was barred from giving a speech supporting same-sex marriage. After winning his class competition, Kameron was entered into the school-wide competition at PS 195—until his principal ordered him to choose a different topic, one that’s not “inappropriate,” or leave the competition.

ThinkProgress provided the full speech in the video above and this transcript of a selection:

“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 to 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 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.

Can we print up “Vote Kameron Slade” T-Shirts immediately? (And he’s a welcome antidote to this hate-spewing child.)

Naturally, Kameron is very bummed out. “I was really looking forward to it,” he said in an interview with NY1. “I thought that this was a real good winning speech for tomorrow.”

It is, Kameron. Blue ribbon all the way!

Most parents sided with the principal, completely failing to grasp the speech’s important message. Parental responses were: “That’s an adult conversation, yes.” “That’s between a parent and a child.” “I think they are a little too young to hear about this.”

These adults must have been in the throes of ADD when Kameron specifically addressed the futility of hiding such a topic from kids. However, we’re pretty sure most made snap judgements without even hearing the speech.

Kameron’s mother is rightfully outraged. “For him to be denied the right to voice his opinion really upsets me,” she told NY1. “It’s on the news. It’s a part our lives now. They need to open up. The New York City Department of Education needs to open up.”

A-frickin’-men. Although, it is odd that Kameron’s mom didn’t want to be identified or seen on camera. Curious thing that she’s willing to proudly put her own son on television, but not show her face. All the more kudos to brave little Kameron!

At this point, Kameron is being forced to write another speech, choosing to discuss animal cruelty prevention. Presumably, the school allows this because beating, maiming and abusing animals is considerably more kid-friendly than loving, lasting human relationships.

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  • QJ201

    The same friggin idiots who think this is an “adult topic” are the same ones who don’t use the parental controls on their TV and let their kids watch what is basically softcore porn…oh yeah but it’s hetero soft core, so that makes it ok. How many of these parents also guy “shoot em up” video games for their kids. Hypocrites.

  • Shadeaux

    I really died @ (And he’s a welcome antidote to this hate-spewing child.) LMAO!

    I’m really impressed with lil man! It’s sad he couldn’t give his speech. Lucky for him he has such a wonderful and supportive mother.

  • Kevin

    The sad part is that this is exactly the type of topic that this sort of persuasive speech should be about; i.e., those where people have different views. What’s the point of giving a speech about animal cruelty? Don’t we all pretty much agree about that one?

  • Str8 Blk Man

    Smart young man and I am so very proud of him and his mama.

  • 1equalityUSA

    The scholl official blew it by banning his speech. Now the content of it is on the web and in the news, where many more are hearing it. That’s fun.

  • R

    Very lovely kid!

    Adults thinking same-sex marriage is not for childrens’ ears, that’s just silly. Discussing love and understanding should really be a hot subject in school.

  • Ginasf

    Kameron –>*???*

  • Ginasf

    Hey, my love signs came out as question marks! It should say “Kameron —> *love love love*

    What a great kid.

  • B

    Let me get this straight. It is inappropriate for a 5th grader to support same-sex marriages, but OK for younger kids to read stories that end with a prince marrying a princess? It’s one thing if the kid was going to give a graphic description of sexual practices, but that does not seem to be the case. It’s more like, they go to a cute little church and say “I do” after the minister says, “If anyone knoweth any reason why this couple should not be joined together in holy matrimony, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.”

  • stevoj

    he’s a pretty courageous kid

  • Shannon1981

    What a brave little boy! Behind you all the way, Kameron. I am very surprised this is happening in NYC. But I guess the school system is behind, as usual.

  • bayside2842

    Kudos to young Kameron. Perhaps his mom was afraid of a backlash in her neighborhood which is in district 29 near Jamaica where religious values may hold sway amongst the general population. As we know, despite Michelle Bachmann and her ilk, praying the gay away is never going to happen. Acceptance is the key. Having children like Kamerson learn tolerance and acceptance at an age when he obviously can so clearly articulate and understand the basic concept of freedom to love whom you choose is an important step in the right direction.

    We can only hope that the next generation that is coming of age to vote will once and for all dispense of this nonsense. Separation of church and state MUST prevail unless we want to have the same strife as they do in the Muslim world with the various sects that profess love of Allah but kill each other because they do not accept the point of view of their fellow Muslims who disagree. It is the same with Christians of all stripes as well as those of the Hebrew faith. Practice your religious beliefs at home and in your houses of worship. Enter the streets as a secular citizen and abide by the laws of the land. The laws need to be changed if they are overly influenced by religious values.

  • Lakeartist

    Does the Principal not get it? Marriage Equality is the LAW of the land in New York State. The law is everyone’s and it is not inappropriate for anyone of any age to banned from talking about it. Hooray for that young lad. He is obviously smarter than his principal, who I might add is most likely paid with State dollars.

  • Avenger

    I wouldn’t want my elementary school aged kids hearing some pro-gay marriage speech either. It’s sad that kids as young as 10 are being exposed to this sort of rhetoric.

  • Hi There I'm Tom


    You’re high, stfu

  • mrlbumiller

    i guess your elementar school kid never hear their classmates calling ppl fag, pud, tom-boy, sissy….

  • jaded

    Gay marriage is legal in NY so I don’t understand the controversy.

  • Gilbert Emond

    Hi, tomorrow 2012.06.16, I will get married with my boy friend of 11 years together.
    It happens I raised his two sons through their teenage period and that his 2 older daughters gave birth to 4 grand children during that time. They are now aged of 8 to 4 years old. They have the age of this nice kid mentioned above. They usually call me Gilbert, but on their own, it happens they call me grand papa once in a while.
    I love them and they love me, they like having 3 grand papa and two grand mothers.
    I am proud they will attend tomorrow both the ceremony in Montreal and the wedding party.
    Believe me, it would be sick that an adult tell these kids that their feelings and emotions for their family including me and my new husband would be wrong, false or of counter nature, society might be sick but not these kids. I would be very angry at anyone who could make their life miserable.
    The last one told his mother, this is a boy who was three years old this last winter, he told his mother after she said “if you were not my child I love you so much I would marry you” (he is gentle and pleasant so they declare things like that as jokes), so he responded to his mother “ok but now that you told me two men can marry each other, I think it would be dad that I would get married with” I look forward the day he will come to Christmas party with his first girlfriend, he will be something!
    This union tomorrow will celebrate our love and the deep involvement of our life’s together, it will celebrate our wish to see it continuing forever in peace and harmony. Isn’t it a true meaning of marriage?

  • LadyL

    Adult cowardice is a major reason bullying is so rampant in schools. Their discomfort with issues of sexual and gender difference means kids are literally left on their own to figure things out. The only sure thing many kids seem to be learning from the adults around them is to fear what they don’t understand–the very reason why Kameron’s speech (whatever commotion it would cause) is so necessary.

  • Hyhybt

    I think he should have been allowed to use the speech… but I wonder: of those who agree, would you still think he should had his opinion been the opposite?

    Be honest. A lot of people on both sides want those who agree with them to be encouraged to speak loud and clear, but don’t want the same for the other side. (Though examples going the other way, such as NOM praising businesses who speak against marriage equality while telling those in favor they need to remain neutral, tend to be more prominent.)

  • Schlukitz

    @Str8 Blk Man:

    As I am I. Kudos to his mama for raising such a sweet kid.

  • Rood

    What a brave young man … perspicacious, too. He’ll go a long way.

  • Rood

    What a brave young man, perspicacious, too. He’ll go a long way.

  • Kevin

    @Hyhybt: Absolutely. While I feel that the argument for gay marriage is strong, it IS something that reasonable people can disagree about. That’s why this kind of subject matter is so appropriate for a persuasive speech, actually.

  • drums

    He’s a bright, confident, well-raised kid (and so adorable too, god love him) and I hope that he’ll have the chance to grow up to become the kind of adult we need more of in this world, instead of oppressed and crushed by the pointlessly authoritarian school system. They should be helping our children shine, not keeping them down and denying them opportunities. What kind of terrible educators are they?

  • Dr.D

    @Avenger: Seriously?! do you also hate blacks, jews, extra terrestrials and anyone who feels love in anyway?

  • What the f**k

    @Gilbert Emond: It is ,Gilbert ……have a great day and a great future together.

  • Charli

    Ahhhh Let me get this str8… Some Moe Ron in NC can MAKE his 5 yr old boy get in front of an entire church congregation and sing to the crowd”. Ain’t no homo going to Heaven.But this beautiful lil man is prohibited from making a speech about love… Hmmm ok I got it now!!

    Really NY??? I bet Cuomo hasn’t got wind of this yet!!!!!

  • Hyhybt

    @Charli: To be fair, there is, thank the Lord, a difference between a public school and a church sanctuary.

  • tjr101

    Seeing this kid warms the heart, there’s indeed hope for the future of our country!

  • Xtincta

    Ya know it’s funny anytime an black person actually does something horrible and offensive to the gay community the trolls come out in full force throwing out generalizations about the black community, but when something poignant and deep like this happens those exact same trolls are NO WHERE to be found. Kudos to his BLACK mother for raising such a smart brave young man.

  • Geri

    His school principle banned Kameron’s speech, and thus made him famous and ensured that his speech will be heard now by millions, instead of just a few hundred souls at his school. Over 35 thousand views on YouTube in one day.

  • Charli

    …. No disrespect friend. But that’s the real fight here, there is NOT a significant difference between church and state. The hate is coming in form of religious BELEIFS and pouring into the schools. If it wasn’t for the churches spewing their hate, the children would grow up normal and free of any form of prejudice .Fortunately… This angel has been protected by his mother and taught to love everyone.

    I agree there SHOULD be a difference, but as of yet there isn’t.

  • Fenix

    This story makes me want to cry…in sadness for the state of ignorance in the country….and in joy because with young people like this there is still hope.
    And if thr argument had been reversed I do believe that it would be just as important to share.

  • Aaron

    lol Please kids this age don’t think about gay marriage, they think about games, cartoons and playing. I can’t stand when parents use exploit thier children to forward thier agenda. I am a gay man and I agree this is not something he needs to tlak about in school.

  • Hyhybt

    @Charli: You have it backwards. The difference is real, right now. It’s just not perfect, and there are those trying to break it down.

  • Uncv1

    First, Kameron you ROCK!
    I am an elementary school principal so I felt like I needed to chime in.

    From a speech perspective, your persuasive speech had all the elements- facts, connection to your own experience and a call to arms. You win!
    Your confidence and steadiness was amazing. You have a voice that will change the world. Never lose it or let anyone, anyone silence it!

    From the principal side, I can see why a principal would hesitate but not for the same reasons as Kameron’s principal. I believe it is a very appropriate topic as pointed here by your comments. It is law in NY. But as a school leader you do need to consider the backlash it may generate in your school and ramifications for career with those above you. The question is, “Do you as a school leader, do you have the courage to push the boundaries and be willing to find ways to mitigate the situation to minimize the fall out, all in the name doing what is right by this child?” I hope that I could answer yes.

    The one thing I think is missing from the same sex marriage arguement is the fact that anyone can get married. As Kameron pointed it, it is the union of two people before God and their family and friends and committing their lives together as one. Period! I can do that today tomorrow whenever and wherever I want, with or without the religious context. It is the personal and financial rights that are being denied, not the act of getting married. No one can legislate my love and commitment for someone.

    So if you made it to the end of this very long post, I commend you and thanks for taking the time.
    How old do you have to be to run for President? Kameron for President 2024!

  • Charli

    I know it SHOULD be, but again .. Not yet!!!

  • Hyhybt

    @Aaron: Kids think about what they know about. If they or their friends have gay parents, there is no reason to assume they won’t become interested. Besides, this is a *fifth grader,* not a five-year-old. Fifth graders know a lot; if you don’t believe that, find reruns of their game show with Jeff Foxworthy. And by that age, social studies lessons and homework include keeping up with current events, or at least they did when I was in school. (At that time, it involved watching the evening news and looking through the paper.) And you simply can’t keep up with current events in this country without happening on stories now and then about gay marriage.

  • EGO

    What a wonderful intelligent boy! He can educate his superiors about equal rights for all. Little by little civilization is becoming educated about the facts of who we are and that what is natural for heterosexuals is not natural for homosexuals and vice versa.
    I am a retired 70 year old gay male, Navy veteran. I have a life time partner of 50 years and we have been married 8 years in Massachusetts, a state that practices democracy. Though my partner and I had to live our lives in secrecy for many years, we have managed to pursue and to live the American dream. Kudos to all that help advance humanity and may all of us learn to live together in peace and harmony.

  • shannon


  • Rockery

    So cute!

Comments are closed.