Earlier this week we reported the news that one of our favorite gay allies, ten-year-old Will Phillips. would be Grand Marshall of the NW Arkansas Pride Parade. Turns out not everyone is happy about that, namely the hateful American Family Association which just issued an action alert demanding Fayetteville‘s mayor, Lionel Jordan, pull his proclamation supporting the event.
Or as the AFA puts it in the horribly titled AFA says using 10-year old as gay pride parade grand marshal a form of child abuse alert, "Demand that Mayor Jordan pull his proclamation of homosexual event exploiting children for deviant sexual approval. Ask the city council to admonish the mayor for participating."
AFA President Tim Wildmon says,“ It’s shameful that adults would abuse a brain-washed child in this way,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon. “He’s obviously just parroting the nonsense he’s been told by manipulative adults.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 NWA Center for Equality, the group Will and his parents support in their fight for gay equality in Arkansas, reports that the mayor has already received hundreds of anti-gay emails and is asking that folks please get in touch with the Mayor’s office to show their support.
And after the brave stance Will and his family have taken, it seems like this is the least the GLBT community for them. I’ve been in touch with Will’s parents, and they are very disturbed by the AFA’s actions. Says, John Phillips:
We will NOT be cowed by National Bully groups or anyone else! Our family has attended this parade for nearly 5 years and we would be doing so even if Will WASN’T Grand Marshal.
People can voice there support by visiting the City of Fayetteville’s Facebook page and commenting on the wall.
Laura Phillips, Will’s mom, says these blind letter campaigns scare her and that she takes accusations that Will’s attending the Pride Parade somehow consitutes abuse as "threats."
Here is who to contact to voice your support for the Phillips, NWA Center for Eqaulity and Mayor Jordan:
Ward 1, Position 1 Adella Gray (479) 442-4958 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 1, Position 2 Brenda Thiel (479) 442-3095 email@example.com
Ward 2, Position 1 Kyle Cook (479) 521-7632 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 2, Position 2 Matthew Petty (479) 595-8303 (Email preferred) citycouncil (at) matthewpetty (dot) org
Mayor Lioneld Jordan (479) 575-8330 email@example.com
Ward 3, Position 1 Robert K. Rhoads (479) 973-5200 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 3, Position 2 Bobby Ferrell (479) 442-3535 email@example.com
Ward 4, Position 1 Shirley Lucas (479) 442-4612 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 4, Position 2 Sarah Lewis (479) 263-2087 email@example.com
As always, BE polite and civil. We want the support of these indivduals.