Arkansas | Gay Rights | News

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

Willphillips

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."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I'm 27. I remember being 10 years old and speaking like this young adult about serious topics. He has many more years of abuse ahead of him if his experience is going to be anything like mine.

    We need to point out that this young adult has more courage than some of our elected officials. He went on the news and spoke his mind very clearly about a topic that is dear to the hearts of many (while the anchors chuckled). He only used the constitution as his defense.

    Thank you Will Phillips.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 16, 2009 4:01:10 PM


  2. OH MY GOD! If the millions of us homosexuals had the balls this little boys has, we'd be marching on D.C., we'd be refusing to pay taxes, we'd be refusing to contribute on more ounce of sweat to the grinding wheel that is America until we have our rights.

    We should be ashamed.

    Posted by: Bobby | Nov 16, 2009 4:42:49 PM


  3. Gay-wad?

    At least he hasn't been called fag, faggot, fucking fag, fucking faggot, filthy faggot, homo, fucking homo, filthy homo, cum-guzzler, filthy cum-guzzler, pickle puffer, fudge-packer, cock-sucker, maricon, nancy-boy, mother fucking queer, fairy, sissy, dyke, lezzie.................

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 16, 2009 4:58:32 PM


  4. Nah, he's a nice kid. Thank you Will. Watch out for yourself first though. Don't put yourself in danger. Us adult homos can or should be able to watch out for ourselves. I don't think any gay person would want to see your hurt.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 16, 2009 5:03:39 PM


  5. John in Boston clearly didn't take advantage of the many prominent schools in his area.

    This kid needs to be booked on ELLEN. I'm sick of seeing bratty snots on there who sign well. THIS is an amazing kid.

    Posted by: Bayley | Nov 16, 2009 5:20:45 PM


  6. Lighten up Bayley; my post is called sarcasm. Sorry it went over your head.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 16, 2009 5:32:05 PM


  7. Gay-wad?

    At least he hasn't been called fag, faggot, fucking fag, fucking faggot, filthy faggot, homo, fucking homo, filthy homo, cum-guzzler, filthy cum-guzzler, pickle puffer, fudge-packer, cock-sucker, maricon, nancy-boy, mother fucking queer, fairy, sissy, dyke, lezzie.................

    POSTED BY: JOHN IN BOSTON
    ------------
    I see nothing sarcastic or funny in your lame attempt at humor. This brave young kid is making waves, something that middle America may listen to from a child, while turning a deaf ear to us.

    I often think douche bags like you were dropped on their heads by clueless parents, clearly yours did that and much more. Get a fucking life dick head.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Nov 16, 2009 6:27:02 PM


  8. Awww, that just made my day :) It takes some fortitude for a kid to stand up for what he believes in. And he's so articulate...love him! Screw those little bastards that are picking on him too.

    And his dad is totally hot :)

    Posted by: daws | Nov 16, 2009 6:28:50 PM


  9. Brave boy. But sad that we think so. Imagine a student demanding not to be forced to lie. That shouldn't have to be a brave act.

    Who is disciplining the teachers, who are allowing the term "gay-wad" to be freely used on school property?

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 16, 2009 6:59:02 PM


  10. He rocks!

    Posted by: KFLO | Nov 16, 2009 7:02:27 PM


  11. john in boston - I get what your sayin...consiering all the hateful words that could be used....and there are many! His mom has a facebook page - laura phillips in arkansas

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Nov 16, 2009 7:05:52 PM


  12. That is one bright kid with a very cool dad,

    Posted by: jaragon | Nov 16, 2009 7:06:11 PM


  13. @john in boston,

    sarcasm is a form of irony. your comment is devoid of either.

    Posted by: nic | Nov 16, 2009 7:20:35 PM


  14. I'm really rooting for this kid. It takes a really brave young man to risk sanction from his classmates and to endure torment for standing up in what he believes in. In fairness, when children of families from the right do the same thing, they use it as an opportunity to chastize liberals. Not so with this kid. He's just simply saying, look, the way we treat certain populations in our society runs counter to what we're pledging to our country.

    Good for you, kid. I hope this bravery takes you very far in life.

    Posted by: Dee | Nov 16, 2009 8:39:50 PM


  15. Truly a wonderful young man. And his parents deserve credit too.

    Posted by: dm | Nov 16, 2009 9:24:49 PM


  16. How sad that the poor kid has been taught that America is a single issue. No one seems to see past their own penis on this one.

    Posted by: clarklane | Nov 16, 2009 10:57:09 PM


  17. Will, hold on to your hat. It's going to be a bumpy ride while sticking up for what you believe in. You are a kind and intelligent boy and you have my utmost respect. Thank you.

    Posted by: Pugzz | Nov 16, 2009 11:11:36 PM


  18. For those who asked, he does have a Facebook fan page, and yes, he deserves our support as much as we appreciate his: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Will-Phillips/334511190383

    Posted by: Dave Brousseau | Nov 16, 2009 11:31:05 PM


  19. will is a shining example of tolerance. It's so sad that many of us are willing to walk around as cowards. I'm so proud of Will for taking a stand against injustice!

    Posted by: bria | Nov 17, 2009 1:38:40 AM


  20. Wow... that's amazing! His parents are obviously doing something right! I also agree that Ellen needs to get this kid on her show. Maybe he could start a wave of awareness in other kids. Because this is not only an equal rights issue, but at his age - a bullying issue for gay kids in schools. Maybe this awareness would help with that as well. We need the next generation to take a stand.. that's where it all begins.
    GO WILL!!!!

    Posted by: PollyK | Nov 17, 2009 1:41:55 AM


  21. This is fantastic! And it's not just us queers thanking this thoughtful young man, but his less nerdy classmates who'd doubtless shoulder the swirly burden if not for him. Hip hip, hurrah!

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 17, 2009 1:49:14 AM


  22. This kid may be smarter than anyone suspected. At the very end of the video, it appears that he makes a sign with his right hand to indicate that he was being forced to say what he said. I watched the end again, and it's hard to tell. He at first is scratching his fingers, but then he turns an open hole to the camera, seemingly deliberately, which may be why he didn't answer the last question. Of course, this doesn't mean he didn't stand up in class of his own accord or anything like that; but it makes me wonder if he was coached on what to say to the TV cameras and decided to let everyone know just that. I guess if I had gone through all his troubles and then was coached, I'd be a little miffed too. Thoughts?

    Posted by: Sam | Nov 17, 2009 2:19:54 AM


  23. LOL@sam

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 17, 2009 2:28:43 AM


  24. @SAM,

    you are demented. this is my thought.

    Posted by: nic | Nov 17, 2009 2:47:54 AM


  25. @clarklane,

    you said,

    "How sad that the poor kid has been taught that America is a single issue. No one seems to see past their own penis on this one." [Posted by: clarklane | Nov 16, 2009 10:57:09 PM.]

    liberty and justice for all is not a "single" issue.

    Posted by: nic | Nov 17, 2009 5:33:06 AM


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