By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com October 17 2013 3:37 PM ET
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat who represents the state's 23rd district, which includes areas with sizable LGBT populations like Miami-Dade County, revealed on a satellite radio interview that support for equality is one of her family's foundational values.
Speaking with Julie Mason of SiriusXM's POTUS program The Press Pool, as part of an ongoing series highlighting women who are pioneers in their fields, Schultz recalled explaining what being gay meant to her son, who was, at the time, in fourth grade.
"I realized at that moment, OK, so I am standing on a crossroads here in my child's life," said Schultz. "And this is the moment when people either turn their children into bigots, and narrow-minded individuals, or they have an opportunity to open their eyes to tolerance. And of course, I had always intended to chose tolerance and understanding. And so I explained to Jake that there are some people who are born, and they're attracted to the opposite sex, like your mom and dad, and other people are born, and they're attracted to the same sex. And neither is preferable — they're both normal. And that there are some people who think it's only OK to like someone of the opposite sex."
That's where the congresswoman left the discussion until another chat when her son was 12 years old, when he offered his own opinion as the pair were listening to a news report about the fight for marriage equality.
"All of a sudden, he blurted out, 'Who really cares who people marry?'" recalled the Florida Democrat. "And I said to myself, my work here is done."
Listen to the segment from Julie Mason's Press Pool segment on POTUS, SiriusXM 124, below.