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Scot and Maurine Proctor
Wednesday, March 27 2013

Celebrating Marriage: A Child Speaks Out

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A crowd came to the Utah State Capitol Rotunda Tuesday night to celebrate marriage, marking the first of two days when the U.S. Supreme Court heard its oral arguments on the marriage cases before it concerning Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. The theme was “Every child deserves a mom and a dad.” Similar celebrations were held in other states across the country.

An equal number of protestors wearing red t-shirts with “=” signs and placards filled the stairs of the capitol and hung over the hallways above the floor, often chanting.

The program was emceed by Alan and Suzanne Osmond with Governor Gary R. Herbert addressing the crowd.

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Speakers included various religious leaders and politicians with entertainment provided by family groups like “The Osmond Girls”, a third generation Osmond singing group. We’ve included several of the talks in today’s features, but here we quote the words of 13-year-old Amelia Summerhays, who captured a child’s point of view with a touch of humor:

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“As a thirteen-year-old, I’ve got it all figured out why I need a mom and a dad. When Mom says no to ice cream, I can go ask Dad. And when I want to invite boys over, Dad says no, so I go ask Mom.

“But really, I’m here to talk about why every child deserves a mom and dad. From my mother, I have a pattern to follow, and I can learn what it means to be a woman. Certain understandings can only happen between a mother and daughter. I would pattern my cooking after my mom’s, but she burned dinner twice last week. Actually, she lit it on fire. She isn’t perfect. No mother is, but in my world, she can’t be replaced.

“My father protects me and helps me to figure out the immature minds of those boys I want to invite over. My dad’s example and advice helps me see the male perspective and brings a balance to my life as a young woman.

“When I was eight or nine, I had a close friend whose parents were getting divorced. She asked me, “If you had to give up one parent, which would you choose?” I could not decide. My mom and dad both have their strengths and weaknesses, but when it comes down to it, I need both parents.

“As a thirteen-year-old, it’s funny to watch adults fight about this issue. Sometimes adults act like selfish children. Most of what I hear in the current debate about marriage is all about adults rights. I’ve noticed that children’s rights are often ignored. Children are defenseless, so shouldn’t they be the main focus in this debate? When we favor the wants of consenting adults over the needs of children, who cannot consent, something is very wrong.

“In my US history class, studying Thomas Jefferson was sometimes difficult. He was always talking about “inalienable rights” and saying things like “we hold these truths to be self-evident.” It took m e a couple of tries, but I think I get it now. Here’s why:

“On the day I was born, I automatically had a relationship with my mother and father. I’ve heard that my mom was exhausted but still insisted on holding me close. Dad was bouncing off the walls, calling everyone to tell them the good news. All this, and they had only known me for a matter of seconds. That’s the power of a biological bond. It happens naturally. That’s what ‘self-evident’ means.

“Whether you call it nature or God, each of us exists only through a mom and a dad. Every person has that exact same birthright. If ever I was ‘endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable rights,’ this is it—to be born with a mom and dad. Why? Because it is impossible to be born any other way. Traditional marriage is designed to protect this inalienable right given by our Creator. When we redefine marriage, we begin to fight against the inalienable rights of children. Tonight I am here to represent all children, and I would like to say one more thing in our behalf. We hold these truths to be self-evident, it takes a mom and a dad to create a child, so it takes a mom and a dad to raise one.”


  1. Wow, I didn't know about this gathering. Thanks to the Osmonds for making it happen. I don't feel so alone in my views when I see all those people at the rotunda who CARE about preserving traditional marriage. What that 13-year-old said makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing this with us, Meridian Magazine!
  2. The most thrilling talk I have ever heard on the most important message that must be broadcast on this day. I am a mother of nine, a grandmother of 53, and a great grandmother of 78. How could that happen without a father and a mother?
  3. Good article
  4. Amen
  5. Amelia got it right! She said it better than most adults!
  6. You give everyone much to think about, Amelia.
  7. Thank you for covering this event and thanks to Amelia. She really pinned that and made some excellent points. Children need the protection of adults. I'm proud of her and of anyone who will listen to and act for the defense of children.
  8. This girl was amazing. she spoke the truth in such a simple, elegant way that no one could refute. And the way she stood up to the jeers and heckles in the gallery showed character and poise no one else could match--and she was only 13 years old. There were some great speakers at this event, but this kid brought the house down. I would love to see a video of her speach.
  9. She couldn't have said it any better!
  10. This is SO perfect!!! Thank you so much for this post!!!
  11. This girl was amazing. she spoke the truth in such a simple, elegant way that no one could refute. And the way she stood up to the jeers and heckles in the gallery showed character and poise no one else could match--and she was only 13 years old. There were some great speakers at this event, but this kid brought the house down. I would love to see a video of her speach.
  12. Simply amazing, there is hope for us all with children such as Amelia.
  13. Thankyou for having the courage to stand for this very important something! There are many who cannot speak for themselves who are grateful to you! Every child born in vulnerability will amen this speech. Thanks again!
  14. Wow, what a champ! I would love to get a video and listen to this very truthful and beautiful speech. She hit it out of the park folks. Same sex marriages are an abomination and there will be consequences! Trust Me.
  15. Wow, that's so profound and so powerful message. I know many heard your voice. and I hope the whole world will.
  16. This is a sweet message from a sweet child with good parents, but it is a simple message one that works for children, but not so much for adults. As a parent of both biological children and an adopted child the whole self evident right to a biological bond really rubs me the wrong way. I love my daughter as much as I love my biological sons. I loved her before she was born even though I was not the one carrying her. Children born to two goodly parents are blessed, but so are those living with one parent who is doing his our her best given the situation. Also, I would much rather see an adopted child raised in a loving home with two same-sex parents than being raised in our nation's foster care system. Let's not make this issue about children, that is grasping at straws. I can think of a lot of married couples who honestly don't deserve the children they have been blessed with.
  17. This was very possibly the best speech of the night, and that's saying a lot. Nice work Amelia!
  18. I loved this speech. The last 2 paragraphs were what really hit me! I believe this too, but never heard it put in just that way. Pure truth!
  19. Kim, First you don’t want to make it about children and then you use the exact same argument. I have often heard this argument that because there are traditional families out there that are dysfunctional, it’s a good excuse to promote same sex unions that are inherently dysfunctional at their biological core. That’s like saying, Hey, some people are thieves so why go to the effort of locking up our valuables? So what if there are rotten traditional marriages? That doesn’t mean we should just give up and promote anything goes!
  20. I am 100% against gay marriage - BUT is an orphan/foster child better off being raised by a LOVING (and there are some - I have seen them) homosexual couple who clothe, feed, house and love them - then in the foster care "system" or in a neglected environment (and there are MANY of these! I have seen them, too!) This scenario has bothered me since the very beginning of all this gay marriage stuff! I do NOT have the answer - only the question.....Amelia is so right - IF the mom and dad are "normal and perfect, God loving and family oriented" THAT 100%will not happen on this mortal earth and, at this time, I can only wish for such! (for myslf, also)
  21. Jared, First, I really don't think we should equate people in a committed same sex relationships with thieves nor do I think that allowing homosexuals to legally recognize that they are in a committed relationship is in any way promoting anything goes. I believe that churches like ours and every other should be able to define marriage based on the beliefs of their religion, but I don't think our government has the right to decide who can and who can not marry. I certainly do want the government telling me who I can or can not love. I understand that the fear is that religious leaders will be forced to perform homosexual marriages, but at least for now that is just a fear. I would gladly stand up and fight for our right as a church to define marriage as being between a man and a woman, but not or government. I know that is approaching mucky gray waters, but I just don't think we can be the land of the free and see everything as black or white. What I was trying to say about children comes down to the old mote and beam analogy. I just don't think we can point a finger at others when we are so far from perfect. I think we all need to protect the children in our country so they can all grow up safe and happy. If I were to make a list of things that most concern me about issues that face our children today I just can't say same gender issues would be on my list of concerns. What does concern me is that our children need to learn to be tolerant not just of homosexuals but of everyone who may be perceived as different. Isn't that the very essence of living a Christlike life? Shouldn't that be what we are teaching our children? I have watched my own two children who are disabled melt the hearts of many who at first are unkind to them because of their differences. It is my prayer that we might all seek to learn more so that we can understand each other better; I think we would all find that we are really not all that different.

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