Will Phillips – you are the First Amendment Bad Ass of the month.
Will’s family has a number of gay friends. In recent years, Laura Phillips said, they’ve been trying to be a straight ally to the gay community, going to the pride parades and standing up for the rights of their gay and lesbian neighbors. They’ve been especially dismayed by the effort to take away the rights of homosexuals – the right to marry, and the right to adopt. Given that, Will immediately saw a problem with the pledge of allegiance.
“I’ve always tried to analyze things because I want to be lawyer,” Will said. “I really don’t feel that there’s currently liberty and justice for all.”
After asking his parents whether it was against the law not to stand for the pledge, Will decided to do something. On Monday, Oct. 5, when the other kids in his class stood up to recite the pledge of allegiance, he remained sitting down. ( source).
Will lives in Arkansas. Being a 10 year old who stands up for gay rights must be hard enough. Doing so in Arkansas can’t be easy at all. He’s getting a load of grief from his classmates and from the teachers at his school, but Will is standing fast.
You go, Will.
At the end of the interview he is asked “What does being an American mean?
“Freedom of speech,” Will says, without even stopping to think. “The freedom to disagree. That’s what I think pretty much being an American represents.”(source)
And Will wants to be a lawyer….
I’ll be proud to sponsor him for membership in the First Amendment Lawyers’ Association in about 14 years. I wonder if he would pledge if the pledge read like this.