A 10 year old boy who refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school because gays and lesbians do not have equal rights in the US has spoken on CNN.

Will Phillips, from Arkansas, insisted on staying seated while his classmates at the West Fork School pledged their allegiance to the American flag earlier this month.

When teachers could not convince Phillips to take the pledge for a number of days, school officials contacted his parents who said that they supported their son’s position.

The young boy, who said that he wants to be a lawyer, was interviewed by John Roberts on CNN and explained that: “there really isn’t liberty and justice for all. Gays and lesbians can’t marry and there’s still a lot of racism and sexism in the world.

“I’ve grown up with a lot of people and good friends with a lot of people that are gay and I really – I think they should have the rights all people should. And I’m not going to swear that they do.”

He admitted, however, that he told his teacher – who demanded that he stand and take the oath – that: “…with all due respect, you can go jump off a bridge,” admitting that he said this “very solemnly, with a little bit of malice in my voice”.

Phillips also told Roberts that he has since been called “gay-wad” by other students at the school.

The Pledge of Allegiance is an oath of loyalty to the republic of the United States of America, traditionally taken by school children and during certain government meetings and events.

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