Posts tagged “gay rights”

Mick Foley hired to defend Real American Hero Will Phillips

Jon Stewart has called upon professional wrestler Mick Foley to defend 10-year-old Will Phillips from homophobic slurs used against him following his refusal to recite the pledge of allegiance in protest of gay discrimination.

After my blogging and tweeting marathon this weekend (back-to-back record-setting days of traffic) and the disgusting content contained therein, I thought it was time for some good news and a couple laughs. Bring on Mick Foley and some more Will Phillips! I introduced you to young Will two weeks ago and the story has just grown since then. He really has become a bit of a folk hero and deservedly so!

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Quotable: Will Phillips

I’ve always tried to analyze things because I want to be lawyer. I really don’t feel that there’s currently liberty and justice for all.Will Phillips
Elementary school student, Age 10

This in response to why he won’t stand and say the pledge of allegiance in his elementary school class. You see, young Will, age 10, is upset that homosexuals in this country are treated as second-class citizens – denied marriage equality and adoption rights.

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. The class had a substitute teacher that week, a retired educator from the district, who knew Will’s mother and grandmother. Though the substitute tried to make him stand up, he respectfully refused. He did it again the next day, and the next day. Each day, the substitute got a little more cross with him. On Thursday, it finally came to a head. The teacher, Will said, told him that she knew his mother and grandmother, and they would want him to stand and say the pledge.

“She got a lot more angry and raised her voice and brought my mom and my grandma up,” Will said. “I was fuming and was too furious to really pay attention to what she was saying. After a few minutes, I said, ‘With all due respect, ma’am, you can go jump off a bridge.’David Koon
Arkansas Times

This young man is the hope for tomorrow. The fact that he can exist in a country saturated by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh is something to celebrate. Will Phillips, I salute you! Keep fighting the good fight!

Thanks, Shannon!

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Kansas City Star won’t wouldn’t publish same-sex wedding announcements

Edit: Good news! As I was adding the final polish to this piece, I saw the news over at BlogKC that the Kansas City Star now claims they will run same-sex announcements. A welcome change in policy, indeed.

The Kansas City Star recently refused to run the wedding announcement of a gay couple from Blue Springs, MO. The couple was married in Iowa, where same-sex marriage was legalized by the Iowa Supreme Court on April 3rd.

This decision by the Star is confusing for multiple reasons. Their rationale is that they are just following Missouri law. Hmmm…Missouri doesn’t have a law banning the announcement of same-sex marriages in other states. That would be a gross violation of the freedom of the press, or what some of us call a first amendment right. No, the Star is referring to the fact that Missouri does not recognize same-sex marriages and therefore neither does the Star (or the Independence Examiner, who also refused the announcement).

Mike and Chuck Hewitt discuss their controversial wedding announcement.

Image: Bottom Line Communications

Mike and Chuck Hewitt discuss their controversial wedding announcement.

Funny, because the Star had no problem discussing, and therefore announcing, the celebrity marriage of Ellen DeGeneres to Portia de Rossi in an article titled “Stargazing: A look back at ’08” back on December 30, 2008, or talking about the possibility of DeGeneres and de Rossi marrying at the Bush ranch in a piece called “Talkers: Will Bush say ‘yep’?” on May 25, 2008. Evidently announcing marriages of citizens in other states isn’t an issue, just local same-sex marriages. This bugs me on a 14th amendment level, obviously, but what is really puzzling about this decision has nothing to do with the small-mindedness of the Star’s classified editorial staff. It has to do with the stupid business sense of that same staff.

Please bear with me as I impart some of the wisdom I gathered in journalism school upon the Star staff. Someone wants to fill the classified pages of the Kansas City Star with something, anything, and you say no? Your paper is going the way of the dodo and you act in a way to avoid the extra handfuls of sales that the friends and family of these men would provide? You should be begging for sales, begging for anything that would help make one more payment on your giant glass monument to the days of yore. You are dinosaurs and you forget your place.

It remains unclear exactly why the Star wouldn’t run the announcement, since their stated reason is obvious malarkey. KMBC-TV was not afraid of this story and they deserve credit for that, even if they can’t figure out how to format video correctly for the web or let pithy bloggers like me embed said video. Watch the story, you’ll see what I mean on all counts.

Full disclosure: I was once an in utero member of the Kansas City Star classified staff.

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