PHOTOS, VIDEO: Pride San Antonio

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Even though there was a fence around the Pride San Antonio Block Party in Crockett Park on Saturday it could not contain the sheer size of the celebration. The entire Main Avenue strip, from the Essence Bar on the south to the Silver Dollar Saloon at the northern end, was bursting to the seams with revelers.

Crockett Park was packed to the gills. Every parking lot in the neighborhood was full and by 7:30 p.m. folks with lawn chairs were picking out the good spots along the parade route.

It seemed to this observer that this could have been the biggest Pride Block Party and Parade since the tradition was restarted five years ago. By moving the Block Party to the park, Pride organizers managed to get more people not only into the festival but into the entire neighborhood as well.

In an interview with the San Antonio Express-News, Phillip Barcena, president of Pride San Antonio, estimated that 15,000 people would witness the Pride Parade, which began at West Dewey and ended at West Cypress.

At the corner of Dewey and North Main parade participants lined up at the starting point of the seven-block parade route. Many parade participants sought refuge from the heat and waited inside the Silver Dollar Saloon which was directly across the street from the parade lineup.

Among the marchers were two city councilmen: Diego Bernal (District 1) and Ray Lopez (District 6), more than in any previous parade. Perennial participants included State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte and State Rep. Joe Farias. There too was outgoing Director of Health Dr. Fernando Guerrera along with the new Director of Health Dr. Thomas Schlenker.

—  Sam Sanchez

Will Phillips speaks at Pride parade

Will Phillips may be only 10 years old, but he is a young man with a lot of courage and a unique voice — and a lot of fans and supporters in his hometown of Fayetteville, Ark.

When it was first announced last week that Will had been named grand marshal of the Northwest Arkansas Gay Pride Parade, right-winger Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, claimed that it was “a form of child abuse” and suggested that Will had been “brainwashed” into supporting LGBT equality, and that he was doing nothing more than “parroting the nonsense he has been told by manipulative adults.”

Well, watch this video of Will speaking at the parade in Fayetteville, and it’s pretty obvious that he definitely has a mind of his own, and that he is perfectly capable of forming his own well-reasoned opinions.

—  admin

AFA says allowing 10-year-old to be Pride parade grand marshal is 'child abuse'

Will Phillips
Will Phillips

Yesterday, we told you about 10-year-old Will Phillips being chosen as grand marshal of the Northwest Arkansas Gay Pride Parade in his hometown of Fayetteville. Phillips is the young man who made news last fall when he refused to stand in class to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, because the pledge promises “liberty and justice for all” and, as he says, it’s a lie because LGBT people aren’t given equal rights in this country.

Well, leave it up to our old buddy Tim Wildmon over at the American Family Association to say something egregiously stupid and outrageous about Will being given this honor.

—  admin

Protect Will Phillips!

Okay. A couple of days ago, I posted a blog here about 10-year-old Will Phillips of Arkansas who has refused to stand up in class and recite the Pledge of Allegiance until there truly is — as it promises — liberty and justice for all, and that includes equal rights for LGBT people.

Will told CNN in an interview that because of his stand, his classmates have made the assumption he is gay and have been making fun of him and calling him “gaywad.”

Now Jon Stewart has arranged some protection for Will:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Gaywatch – Peter Vadala & William Phillips
www.thedailyshow.com
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—  admin

"Liberty and justice for all" — One boy takes it seriously

I got an e-mail today from a man named Chris who wanted to tell me about something happening in the little town of West Fork, Ark., where a 10-year-old boy named Will Phillips is refusing to stand up in school and say the Pledge of Allegiance until the time comes when he can truly believe that the U.S.A. really does offer “liberty and justice for all.”

In the video clip below of a CNN interview with fifth-grader Will Phillips and his father Jay, Will explains: “I was analyzing the meanings of it [the pledge of allegiance] because I want to be a lawyer. … There really isn’t liberty and justice for all. Gays and lesbians can’t marry, and there is still a lot of racism and sexism in the world.”

For four days Will refused to stand up and say the pledge. And for four days the substitute teacher tried to insist that he do so, even though he told her it was his First Amendment right to refuse. On the fourth day, Will said, “Very solemnly, but with a little bit of malice in my voice, I told her, ‘Ma’am, with all due respect, you can go jump off a bridge.’”

Will got sent to the principal’s office for that remark, and has since had to face the taunts of his classmates who, he said, often call him a “gay wad.” But he’s not backing down.

What’s it going to take to get Will to start saying the Pledge of Allegiance again? Very simply: Liberty and Justice for all, and that includes the right for same-sex couples to marry. “They should have the right to marry, and I won’t swear that they do,” Will said.

The reason Chris sent this to me because Will is the son of one of his best friends from high school. Here’s what Chris said: “I wanted to share this story with you for the sole reason that this 10 year old boy is probably more courageous than I will ever be. … This young man, every time I see him, always has something brilliant to say … . Just to give you a little back story, I also grew up in and attended school in West Fork Arkansas(population 1200) and I also had the same substitute teacher in question as my own 5 grade science teacher. I was open about my sexuality in high school, and unfortunately it did not make things very easy for me. So this young man being as courageous as he is, and knowing him as I do, he receives my everlasting gratitude and respect for his actions and ideas.”

Here’s the video, so you can hear Will tell the story in his own words:

—  admin