(CNSNews.com) – Minnesota state legislators considering a same-sex marriage bill for the state did not have an answer to an 11-year-old girl’s question on which parent is not needed.
“Since every child needs a mom and a dad to be born, I don’t think we can change that children need a mom and a dad. I believe God made it that way,” Grace Evans, 11, said before the Minnesota House Committee on Civil Law last week. “I know some disagree, but I want to ask you this question: Which parent do I not need – my mom or my dad?”
She paused for eight seconds as the legislators on the committee sat silent.
Evans then said, “I’ll ask again, which parent do I not need – my mom or my dad?” She paused again, this time for 13 seconds of silence from state lawmakers.
Evans concluded, saying, “I hope that you can see that every child needs a mom and a dad. Please don’t change your law on marriage to say otherwise.”
Nevertheless, the House committee voted in favor of the gay marriage bill and sent it to the full House. A similar bill is also before the state Senate.
Evans told legislators that her mom and dad each provide something unique to her life.
“Even though I’m only 11 years old, I know that everyone deserves to have a mom and a dad,” Evans said. “If you change the law to say two moms and two dads can get married, it would take away something very important for children like me across the state.
“My mom is very important to me, because she teaches me about being a girl,” Evans said. “She is kind, thoughtful, gentle and beautiful. She cares for me and others and listens very well to things I want to talk to her about.
“I am learning from her to be a good woman, wife and mother someday. Even though I learn some of these things from my dad, my mom teaches them in a very special way. Without my mom, it would be very hard for me to learn them. She’s my role model on how to be a girl, and I love her very much,” she said.
“My dad is also very important to me, because he protects me and helps me get the confidence to be a girl who is growing up to be a woman,” she continued. “He takes care of problems in a way my mom cannot.
“Just like my mom wouldn’t be able to be the woman she is without my dad, I wouldn’t be able to be the woman I want to be without my dad. Because he is strong, wise and different from my mom, I learn things from him that I would not be able to learn in the same way from my mom,” said Evans.
Her father, Jeff Evans, said there have been insulting things about his daughter on various
websites and social media since she spoke in front of legislators.
“We haven’t had any physical threats, but we’ve had some rather colorful comments about my 11-year-old,” Jeff Evans told CNSNews.com. “I’ve been monitoring it to keep my family safe and have a heads up on it. It’s really shameful the things that people will say, hiding behind an Internet alias.”
He said there was nothing posted that made him feel his daughter or family was in danger.
“We see it as more representative of where political discourse is in our country, where you can’t take a position without receiving a great deal of flak, which is unfortunate,” Jeff Evans added, also expressing pride in his daughter.
“I asked her, ‘Were you nervous at all?’ She said, ‘Not really. I knew I could do it because I’ve learned how to speak in front of other people at school,’” he said. “[She’s] Pretty confident and just a wonderful, wonderful daughter.”
One comment on YouTube called Grace Evans “an 11-year-old bigot.” Another said, “shame on you little girl, your speech was ---.” Another comment on YouTube said, “What is sad is im (sic) certain this girl will grow up and support full marriage equality but yet she will be haunted by this.”
On the Facebook page for The Uptake, a Minnesota news website, someone posted a comment, “Stupid Indoctrinated Child.”
A comment posted on the local CBS affiliate website said, “Who ever (sic) spoon fed their child that script to read in front of everyone needs to check into a mental hospital. You are using your kids as pawns in your selfish game. Hopefully one day that child will grow up to think on their own, and then come to the realization that their parents did them a huge disservice by indoctrinating them into this school of hate.”
Jeff Evans feels these comments are representative of the other side.
“Supporters of gay marriage are deceitfully claiming that the legalization of gay marriage won’t affect our religious freedoms or freedom of speech. I do not believe them,” he told
CNSNews.com. “These attacks on Grace are an example of how we have already lost many of these freedoms. In fact, it’s so bad, they aren’t afraid to viscously attack an 11-year-old girl. Imagine what it will be like if gay marriage becomes legal in Minnesota.”