Eleven-year-old North Carolina native Cameron Myers Milne is an activist in the making. First, she sent a letter to the Supreme Court on behalf of her lesbian moms, imploring the SCOTUS to please strike down DOMA, which caught the attention of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who said she could not comment on marriage equality specifically, but did send Cameron an autographed portrait along with a letter encouraging the sixth grader to “continue to think about many important issues that impact our society.”
Now, Cameron is headed to the White House for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll after a White House liaison for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues spotted Cameron’s letter and Sotomayor’s response on the Campaign for Southern Equality’s website, according to Wilson Times.com.
Cameron wrote a letter to each member of the SCOTUS telling them about her loving, devoted moms Susan and Sheila--who have been together 26 years--and making a case for marriage equality, but she said that the response from Sotomayor was unexpected.
“I really was surprised. I hadn’t expected someone so high up to respond to a letter like that,” Cameron said, according to Wilson Times.
The letter to the Supreme Court is timely since, later this month, the justices will hear oral arguments on the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and on Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenges California’s antigay measure Prop. 8, according to The Advocate.
Last May, voters in Cameron’s home state approved an amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. To protest the measure, her moms joined the Campaign for Southern Equality’s movement and applied for a marriage license at the Wilson County Register of Deeds on Jan. 14, despite the state’s antigay measure, according to Wilson Times.
Read Cameron’s letter and Justice Sotomayor’s response below (via Campaign for Southern Equality):
My name is Cameron. I am eleven years old and I am currently in the 6th grade [in North Carolina]. I am the daughter of Susan and Sheila. I watched President Obama’s inauguration speech today and my parents pointed you out to me. They informed me that although President Obama is leading the fight for my parents to be treated equally, you and the other justices will be making very important decisions in the next few months. I know you are busy, but I hope you have time to read this letter.
My parents have been together for 26 years. They took me to New York on their 25th anniversary so that they could be legally married. I was so happy for them. They are the best parents a kid could ask for and I love them so much. I would like to see their marriage recognized here in our home state. Please look at our photos and think of us when you make decisions based on gay rights. We are a family. I am very proud of my parents and I hope you understand how your decision will affect my family.
If you have any concerns about the welfare of kids of gay parents, I can tell you that I am doing great. I am so loved. Everyone I know tells me I am such a lucky kid. My parents are my life. They quiz me before tests and make sure that I am doing well in school. I was the top student in my class last year and have made Headmaster’s List every 6 weeks. I play travel soccer and I am currently trying out for the Olympic Development Program which means they dedicate most of their weekends to traveling all over the state so that I can compete against other teams. I also play tennis. A couple of years ago I collected 200 soccer balls and sent them to Liberia for kids who do not have soccer balls. I have many good friends who love my parents. I have never been teased. I think things are going very well. Thank you for your time.
A few weeks later, Cameron received a reply from Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Here's what the court's first Latina justice had to say:
Thank you for writing to me. I always enjoy reading letters from young students.
Unfortunately, I cannot comment on issues that might one day come before the Court, so I am unable to respond to your letter regarding marriage. I encourage you, however, to continue to think about the many important issues that impact our society.
I know dreams can come true when you work hard to achieve them. In the years to come, I wish you the joy of dreaming big, working hard, and succeeding in all you do.
With warmest regards,