Ever since a young man by the name of Zach Wahls told a group of stunned Iowa lawmakers "the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character," children of all ages have testified in support of same-sex marriage across the country.
However, though seemingly more rare, some children are also speaking out against marriage equality.
Such was the case earlier this month, when an 11-year-old girl testified before the Minnesota House Committee on Civil Law as officials debated a new same-sex marriage bill. (The bill was later passed by the committee, and now awaits a vote in the Senate and House scheduled for later this session.)
Small and soft-spoken, with long, brown hair, the girl begins by thanking the committee for allowing her to speak.
“Even though I’m only 11 years old, I know that everyone deserves to have a mom and a dad,” the girl begins, reading from a prepared statement. “If you change the law to say two moms and two dads can get married, it would take away something very important for children like me across the state."
The child goes on to say her mother is very important to her "because she teaches me things about being a girl," while her father helps her gain confidence.
“Since every child needs a mom and a dad to be born, I don’t think we can change that children need a mom and a dad," she continues. "I believe God made it that way. I know some disagree, but I want to ask you this question: Which parent do I not need: my mom or my dad?”
The girl's father, Jeff Evans, told CNS News that after the testimony, he noticed some people posting insulting comments about his daughter online.
Calling the remarks "shameful," Evans said the backlash was "representative of where political discourse is in our country, where you can’t take a position without receiving a great deal of flak, which is unfortunate."
A 14-year-old girl similarly spoke out against gay marriage and later received hate mail and death treats, according to LifeSiteNews.com.
The girls' comments contrast with that of a 12-year-old boy who told the Rhode Island Senate judiciary committee last week that his lesbian moms just wanted "to be treated fairly."
NPR notes that news of children testifying about same-sex marriage shouldn't be that surprising, given that much of the debate has centered on their welfare.
If a child has 2 living and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond by way of civil marriage, it is in the best interests of their child(ren) that legal and social institutions allow and support them to do so, irrespective of their sexual orientation.