A 12-year-old boy from Santa Rosa is hoping his personal story will help the U.S. Supreme Court decide to overturn California's ban on same sex marriage, Prop. 8. Jean Elle reports.
A 12-year-old boy from Santa Rosa is hoping his personal story will help the U.S. Supreme Court decide to overturn California's ban on same sex marriage, Prop. 8.
Daniel Leffew had a difficult beginning in foster care but was adopted by two dads when he was five.
"My foster mom always told me I was not adoptable because of my medical condition. When my dads adopted me I realized everything she said was a lie," Daniel said.
Daniel suffers from Goldenhar Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the left side of his body.
Jay and Bryan Leffew adopted 5-year-old Daniel and his 1-year-old sister Salina seven years ago and the family shares many everyday moments on a YouTube channel.
With the Prop. 8 hearings approaching, the family learned Chief Justice John Roberts also has two adopted children. Daniel decided to write him a letter to show the court his family is a lot like Roberts'.
He read the letter to his YouTube fans before sending it off saying: "You and I know family goes deeper then blood. I was lucky to be adopted by two guys I can call dad."
The Leffew dads are proud of Daniel for making his case and Daniel is hoping it will make a difference.
"When he reads the letter I want him to see our family is a lot like his," he said.
The Leffews will be monitoring the arguments at U.S. Supreme Court closely.
Dear Justice Roberts,
My name is Daniel Martinez-Leffew. I'm 12 years old and I live in northern California. I have a younger sister named Salina, and we were adopted by two dads. We were adopted when I was five and my sister was about twelve months old.
When I was in foster care I was told that I was considered unadoptable because of my Goldenhar syndrome. That is a genetic disorder that affects the whole left side of my body.
I lost my little brother Emilio because some people wanted to adopt him, but they weren't willing to adopt me because of my medical conditions. Lucky for me, that's when my two dads came along.
I recently found out that you yourself adopted two kids, a boy and a girl, kind of like me and my sister.
Family means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but some people believe that you have to have the same blood to be a family. You and I both know that family goes deeper than blood.
I was lucky to be adopted by two guys I can both call dad. They give me and my sister so much love. My dad Jay works in San Francisco as a deputy sheriff, and my dad Bryan stays at home and takes care of me and my sister.
My dads really encourage me to excel in life. Since I want to be a cook when I grow up, they're letting me take cooking classes. My parents want me to improve, whether it's schoolwork, or my social life.
I know you have a tough decision to make with the gay marriage issue, but my family is just as valuable and worthwhile as any other.
It's especially tough for you because I know you don't necessarily believe in gay marriage religiously. Lucky for us, though, you also don't believe in taking away a right, even from people like us.
My family and I have spent the last four years making YouTube videos to show people who don't understand that our family is like any other. If Prop 8 is allowed to stand, imagine the pain we would feel knowing that we are not considered equal to everyone else.
I guess to end this, it is important that all families are protected and valued. In our country we may not all be the same, but we are all Americans and deserve an equal chance at bettering our lives.
I hope you make the right decision in the end.