Fifth Grader Allowed to Give Same-Sex Marriage Speech, Walcott says

By Jeff Mays and Nigel Chiwaya  on June 15, 2012 4:17pm

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced that fifth grader Cameron Slade will be allowed to deliver his same-sex marriage speech.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced that fifth grader Cameron Slade will be allowed to deliver his same-sex marriage speech.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

NEW YORK CITY — A fifth-grader that was prohibited from delivering a speech about same-sex marriage will be allowed to go ahead with his speech, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced Friday morning.

Kameron Slade was forbidden from giving the speech by his principal at P.S. 195 in Rosedale. NY1 broke the story of Slade, who won a class-competition and was told that he could speak about anything he wanted.

Slade, whose mother has lesbian friends, wrote about his experiences with same-sex couples and begged for social tolerance.

"This family seemed like every other family," Slade recalled about his mother's friends and their daughter, adding: "the only difference was that there was two moms instead of a mother and a father."

When Slade chose the topic of same-sex marriage, the principal told him to choose another topic or not give the speech at all.

Walcott, speaking in front of P.S. 208 in Harlem, weighed in on issue, saying "This young man has the right to give a speech."

Walcott said that Slade will be allowed to speak on Monday at 7 p.m. and that his staff is working with the school community to notify parents before the speech.

"It's something that the principal felt she needed to do more due diligence with her parent community because of the topic of the speech itself," Walcott said. "This extra day will give her the ability to reach out to those parents to make them aware of the content of the speech because we're talking about an elementary school."

Much has been made about Slade's story since it broke last night. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio weighed in on Twitter Friday afternoon, tweeting: "Great news from PS 195 in Queens that 5th grader Kameron Slade will be able to give his winning speech on marriage equality. Bravo Kameron!"

"[Fifth] grader's awesome speech is awesome. way to go kameron slade," tweeted @harryroman.

Phone calls to the only Slade family listed in Rosedale, Queens, were not returned.

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