Wearing a pressed gray suit, black shoes, and a purple shirt and tie, Kameron Slade, 10, fidgeted slightly before his name was called in the City Council chambers on Wednesday. He approached the microphone set before the room full of politicians, lowered his head to the papers he clutched in his hands, and began to speak.

“President Barack Obama recently talked about same-sex marriage with his wife and two daughters. Some people are for same-gender marriage, while others are against it,” Kameron said. “Like President Obama, I believe that all people should have the right to marry whoever they want. Marriage is about love, support and commitment. So who are we to judge?”

Slade wrote the speech two months ago for a competition at his school, P.S. 195. The principal there concluded that his words were inappropriate for students, and barred him from delivering his thoughts. Quickly, council speaker Christine C. Quinn acted by inviting him to speak during the meeting on Wednesday (July 25). With his mother, April Grantham-Slade, by his side, the two came up with the topic after hearing President Obama’s thoughts on the matter. “I felt very confident when I was doing it,” the young public speaker said. “I feel honored because not many people get to do this.”