Arkansas | Gay Rights | News

Interview: 10-Year-Old Who Refuses to Say 'Pledge of Allegiance' Until Gays Have Full Equality


Great kid.

Last week I mentioned Will Phillips, the 10-year-old Arkansan who has refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance until gays and lesbians have equal rights. CNN's John Roberts asks Phillips why the issue is so important to him.

Says Phillips: "Because I have many -- I've grown up with a lot of people and good friends with a lot of people that are gay and I really -- I think they should have the rights all people should. And I'm not going to swear that they do."

Roberts also asks Phillips what he said to the teacher after refusing to say the Pledge.

Said Phillips: "I eventually, very solemnly, with a little bit of malice in my voice, said, 'Ma'am with all due respect, you can go jump off a bridge.'"

Phillips says that since taking a stand he has been repeatedly called a "gay-wad" by other students, which he calls a "discriminatory name for homosexuals."


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  1. Wow is right! It is hopeful that a bright 10 year old seems the hypocrisy in our creed and reality. Looking forward to when he is a lawyer.

    Posted by: Rafael S. | Nov 16, 2009 12:03:30 PM

  2. The recitation of the pledge of allegiance is, in itself, an execrable practice, smacking of fascist government. At its most benign, it is quaint and silly, and should be eliminated.

    Posted by: LD | Nov 16, 2009 12:16:35 PM

  3. "I eventually, very solemnly, with a little bit of malice in my voice, said, 'Ma'am with all due respect, you can go jump off a bridge.'"


    ANDY you just made my day. His parents are doing a great job, listen closely and you can hear the right wingers heads explode.

    Imagine a ten year old who is more articulate than Bush or Palin.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Nov 16, 2009 12:17:11 PM

  4. What a tool Roberts is: the democratic process is working. It is not democratic to let the majority vote on the rights of a minority. Fuckwad

    Posted by: Christopher | Nov 16, 2009 12:21:22 PM

  5. Oh my god! That poor child has been converted by the homersexuals!!

    Posted by: Tralfaz | Nov 16, 2009 12:23:27 PM

  6. My bitter NYC heart just melted. Ellen - book this kid ASAP.

    Is there a Facebook or Myspace page for this kid? How can we get in touch with his family to show our support? His unwavering support of me earns him mine in return.

    Posted by: littleBIGchris | Nov 16, 2009 12:25:46 PM

  7. thanx for posting this, andy.

    oh please, xtians are the first to throw stones and then they wallow in their victimhood when people fight back.

    matthew 21:16, "out of the mouths of babes..."

    Posted by: nic | Nov 16, 2009 12:29:27 PM

  8. The embedded link seems not to work here or on huffpost.

    It's here on youtube:

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Nov 16, 2009 12:36:07 PM

  9. Proof positive that the bigots that post here are not smarter than a 5th grader. Maybe we can get little Will to teach a seminar for JohninBoston, Gast,

    Posted by: Q | Nov 16, 2009 12:36:43 PM

  10. I knew the kid was cool when I saw the Threadless t-shirt, but wow...
    Bright, serious and willing to accept the consequences of a principled stand. Awesome.
    (and though disrespecting the teacher probably didn't help his case, he at least did it with some style).

    Posted by: notshychirev | Nov 16, 2009 1:01:36 PM

  11. Maya Angelou aint the only brilliant mind to come out of Arkansas...why, this young man is as smart as William Jefferson Clinton--maybe smarter.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 16, 2009 1:03:57 PM

  12. Rock on Will! (and Dad is a total WOOF!)

    Posted by: dan | Nov 16, 2009 1:16:22 PM

  13. He made me cry. YOU GO LITTLE MAN and don´t stand up until equal rights happen.

    Posted by: Raul Vives | Nov 16, 2009 1:22:58 PM

  14. Someone with Arkansas/CNN contacts please find out if there's a college fund set up for this kid. I'll get a check in the mail this week...

    Posted by: Blake | Nov 16, 2009 1:30:52 PM

  15. What a cool Dad. And what a FABULOUS kid.

    My day is made.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 16, 2009 1:33:51 PM

  16. That kid's got more balls than the politicians in DC who say they support equal rights. That includes Obama.

    Posted by: princely54 | Nov 16, 2009 1:44:39 PM

  17. A small glimmer of hope shines like a star in the distant sky. This child is one to watch. He is wise beyond his years.

    Posted by: AJay | Nov 16, 2009 1:45:44 PM

  18. @Blake: I'm with you. Tell me where to send the check.

    Posted by: littleBIGchris | Nov 16, 2009 1:56:28 PM

  19. What Ajay said. This kid rocks - gives me hope for the next generation.

    Posted by: Jim | Nov 16, 2009 1:56:30 PM

  20. Re: Dan

    Agreed. The dad is hot. Smart kid too.

    Posted by: Matt | Nov 16, 2009 2:04:23 PM

  21. I am definitely floored with the level of insight that this kid has. Kudos to his family for raising such a socially aware kid. He's only 10 but he's got a bright future ahead of him. This is our future and it send shivers down the Christianist "spine" to see that the present generation is changing their views on a lot of social issues which has nothing to do with who they believe in.

    Posted by: chadSF | Nov 16, 2009 3:04:26 PM

  22. What a brave and AWESOME young man. If only more adults were like him.

    Posted by: Loretta | Nov 16, 2009 3:08:19 PM

  23. He's like a young Atticus Finch. Look how he is so serious, very rare. And Will, they called me a gaywad too. Why, this child's just wonderful... what principles... I hope everybody just leaves him alone and lets him just do this thing, the way he does it. His principled stand is an inspiration to the rest of the country.

    Posted by: Juliana | Nov 16, 2009 3:14:09 PM

  24. It's poetic justice that this kid and his great dad are in Arkansas. Please, we need more people like this from the Bible belt to speak out and take a stand.

    Posted by: asa1973 | Nov 16, 2009 3:20:38 PM

  25. 'Ma'am with all due respect, you can go jump off a bridge.'"

    American Apparel put that decree on a v-neck t stat!

    Posted by: Travis | Nov 16, 2009 3:48:01 PM

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