David (left) and Lee Neubecker with their children Braiden and Michael. Courtesy of the Neubecker family

My Family And Marriage Equality

by Braiden Neubecker, age 10 1/2

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Love is important! It doesn't matter who people love, as long as they are happy. Everyone should have the right to marry who he or she wants. You may not like two men being married, but for them, it's normal.

My two dads should be able to be married and have the same rights as any married couple. How would you feel if you couldn't marry someone just because the government said you weren't allowed to. If I loved someone and wasn't allowed to marry them, I would be really sad. My family has taught me that even if you don't agree with someone, you should still be kind and respectful. The government should too. Also, my church tells me that you should treat other people the way you want to be treated.

My dads are very unique. We do lots of silly things like having hot cocoa every single time it snows. Every summer we go to the same place in Florida with one dad's whole family. Our family knows how to have fun. We do lots of road trips. Also, we have gone on cruises. I really enjoy traveling with my dads. It is very fun. One of my favorite things to do as a family is family game night. I LOVE this family and I love every single thing we do as a family.

Before I lived with my two dads, my life was horrible. My old family never treated me well. They wouldn't stand up for me. If my foster sister fought with me, my old mom would just sit there and watch me get hurt, so I would have to fight back. Each time I was at foster home, the foster parents promised me they would keep me safe and treat my brother and I equally.

But they always broke their promise. I moved five times until my dad and daddy found me. They also promised that they would always love me and keep me safe and they would treat me equal to my brother. I was 4 when I met them. Now I am 10 and they have kept their promises. They do so much for me. They never hurt me or my brother. I feel so safe. I believe I can do anything with my two dads. Would there be any purpose to ban the marriage of two men or two women when they can treat children the same or even better than other couples. I hope that you will do the right thing and let anyone marry who they want to.

About the Author: Braiden Neubecker, age 10-1/2, said she lives with her brother "and my two perfectly good dads. I am probably the happiest girl in the world to have two dads that love me." They live in the near west suburbs of Chicago. She wrote this essay for school and received minor help from her teacher in crafting her original draft into an essay.


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