10-year-old Will Phillips was named Grand Marshal of the Fayetteville, Ark. Gay Pride Parade taking place on Saturday.
-- From "10-Year-Old Grand Marshal at Gay Rights Parade Sparks Controversy Across U.S." by FOXNews.com 6/24/10
Ordinarily, the annual parade is pretty low-key, residents say. The mayor issues a proclamation, the police close a few streets and a few hundred people show up, something that Skip Descant, who covers the city for the Northwest Arkansas Times, says is a lot for a Saturday morning in the summer.
But the selection of young Will, who last November refused to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school to show his support for gay rights, has changed all that. This year the parade has drawn national attention, and it's promising to tread the line between farce and confrontation.
Will, who in March received the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) award for his stand, has complained that his support of gay rights has caused him trouble at school . . .
The American Family Association, based in Tupelo, Miss., has called Will's selection to be grand marshal “a form of child abuse,” and it has called on the city’s mayor to “cancel his plans to issue a proclamation celebrating homosexual behavior and gay pride.”
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