Ten-Year-Old Hero Confronts Anti-Gay Bigotry

I just love stories about young people taking a stand for justice. Not much else gets the tears flowing for me more than a good story about some little kid figuring out that civil liberties is a guarantee in the Constitution that should apply to everyone, so if somebody’s suffering from bigotry or discrimination, then, gosh darn it, that kid’s going to do something about it. 

How can any American reading such stories not feel a little proud rush of patriotism, right? A slight welling up in the chest? I don’t mean to sound condescending here, but how can anyone not find such brave principled kids absolutely adorable?

Ummm, actually there is one group that seems to hate stories about little kids standing up to bigotry. And that would be the American Family Association.

Remember Will Phillips? He’s that adorable 10-year-old kid who in November garnered national attention when he refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance until that “for liberty and justice for all” stuff was applied equally to lesbians and gays. Jon Stewart was so charmed by him that he brought professional wrestler Mick Foley on the show to vow that if anyone harasses young Mr. Phillips, he will come to the school and bring with him “a world of pain.”

Foley also said that he would rip out the harasser’s small intestine and use the person as a human tether ball. See? Adorable. (Actually, can you imagine Will’s day at school the next day? That must have been priceless.)

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Gaywatch – Peter Vadala & William Phillips<a>
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Anyway, for his stance, Phillips has been invited to be the grand marshal of the Fayetteville Gay Pride Parade, according to On Top Magazine. And he and his parents have accepted the honor.

But some “social conservatives” (i.e. bigots) are railing against it, calling it “child abuse.”

From On Top:

Bryan Fischer, director of analysis at the American Family Association, said Phillips was being exploited by adults for “dark political purposes.”

“There is nothing about homosexual conduct to be proud of and much to be ashamed of,” he told Fox News.

AFA President Tim Wildmon called Phillips’ inclusion a “form of child abuse.”

“He’s obviously just parroting the nonsense he’s been told by manipulative adults,” Wildmon said in a statement. “For gay activists to trot out this child and make him the poster child for promoting unnatural sexual expression is a form of child abuse.”

The group claims over 12,000 members responded to an “action alert” to contact Fayetteville officials demanding an end to the parade.

Of course, the good news in this is that poll data indicates that the Will Phillips of the world are going to win this battle. And the petty bigots for whom the phrase “liberty and justice for all” are just words to be parroted, devoid of any real meaning, are dying out.

I think I may cry.