Eureka Springs Hub

Eureka Springs Passes LGBT Protections, Tells Arkansas Legislature To 'Bring It On'


Hours after the Arkansas Senate voted to prohibit cities from passing LGBT protections, the City Council in Eureka Springs — known as "the gay capital of the Ozarks" — thumbed its nose at lawmakers by doing just that. 

The Arkansas Senate voted 24-8 Monday to prohibit cities from adding protected classes to nondiscrimination ordinances that aren't included in state law. Senate Bill 202, which now goes to the House, is a direct response to Fayetteville's decision to pass an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance, which was later overturned at the ballot box. 

The Associated Press reports: 

Republican Sen. Bart Hester, who proposed the legislation, said it is intended to standardize laws across the state, which he said is just as important as civil rights.

"What we need to do in the state of Arkansas is create a uniform and standardized process for any business to come in," Hester said.

The proposal was approved on a mostly party line vote, with three of the Senate's 11 Democrats voting for the bill. The state Democratic Party issued a statement opposing the measure, and the top Democrat in the chamber portrayed the restriction as hypocritical compared to Republicans' rhetoric.

"If Washington passed something like this and passed it down to the states, we would scream about federal overreach," said Senate Minority Leader Keith Ingram.

If SB202 becomes law, Arkansas would be the second state to prohibit cities from banning anti-LGBT discrimination. The other is Tennessee, where the law is being challenged in court by the National Center for Lesbian Rights. In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Colorado's ban on gay protections, saying it was unconstitutional for legislators to target a specific group. 

In response to the state Senate's passage of SB202, the City Council in Eureka Springs rushed through an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance on Monday night. The council also passed a resolution opposing SB202 and an emergency clause to make the ordinance effective as soon as possible.  

Arkansas Online reports: 

BerryEureka Springs Mayor Robert D. "Butch" Berry [pictured right] said he'll sign the ordinance today or Wednesday after document changes requested by the council have been made and a fresh copy of the eight-page ordinance is available. When that happens, Eureka Springs will become the only city in Arkansas with such an ordinance. ...

At Monday's council meeting, City Attorney Tim Weaver said SB202 is written to prevent the enforcement of city ordinances like the one the council was discussing. ...

Council member Mickey Schneider asked if Weaver meant the city would likely be sued by the state.

"I'm not saying the state's going to sue you," said Weaver. "It's more likely to come from a right-wing group."

"That's even better!" said Schneider. "Bring it on!"

News: Johnny Depp, Eureka Springs, Clark Gable, Bounty Killer

road.jpg BOOK: Clark Gable was gay for pay. "David Bret’s angle on Clark Gable is this: Gable was 'gay for pay' and 'rough trade,' and he enjoyed having sex 'for bucks.' In addition, he 'would sometimes scrub his penis until it bled' and used a device to prolong erections. If these tidbits from the book’s first few pages aren’t too much information for you, you’re in luck. This breathtakingly trashy biography does not skimp on sordid anecdotes."

Jdepproad.jpg Johnny Depp the new, uh, face of Trojan condoms?

road.jpg Gawker goes to the NYC Black Party.

road.jpg T.R. Knight steps out with boyfriend Mark Cornelsen: We all have AIDS.

road.jpg Survey shows increased support for gay marriage in Ireland: "Eighty-four per cent of respondents to an opinion poll conducted this month by Lansdowne Market Research said they supported civil marriage or civil partnerships for gay and lesbian couples. This is the same figure as a similar survey carried out in November 2006. However, 58% said gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry in registry offices, compared to 51% in the previous survey."

road.jpg Did Heath Ledger father a love child?

road.jpg Could Al Gore be brought in for clean-up duty at the convention? "Let’s say the elders of the Democratic Party decide, when the primaries end, that neither Obama nor Clinton is viable. Let’s also assume — and this may be a real stretch — that such elders are strong and smart enough to act. All they’d have to do would be to convince a significant fraction of their superdelegate friends, maybe fewer than 100, to announce that they were taking a pass on the first ballot at the Denver convention, which would deny the 2,025 votes necessary to Obama or Clinton. What if they then approached Gore and asked him to be the nominee, for the good of the party — and suggested that he take Obama as his running mate? Of course, Obama would have to be a party to the deal and bring his 1,900 or so delegates along."

Madonnaroad.jpg Madonna on the paparazzi: "The paparazzi are out of control. I haven't been to Los Angeles in quite a while, and I don’t watch television here or in England, and I was told there's now a television show where the paparazzi are the stars of the show—is that true? That they film each other doing paparazzi jobs? Which gives them more fuel. I usually found that type kept their distance—they definitely do in England, because it's illegal to photograph children. But that's not how it is here. They get this close, and don't care how much they scare your children. Being famous has changed a lot, because now there's so many outlets, between magazines, TV shows, and the Internet, for people to stalk and follow you. We created the monster."

road.jpg Gay couple faces harsh realities in move from New Jersey to Idaho.

road.jpg Is Regent Entertainment circling gay publications Out and The Advocate?

road.jpg HIV-positive Canadian Martin Rooney takes on U.S. travel ban: "I said I was on disability. He said what's my disability. I said I have HIV. He hauled me into a backroom. ... He put on a set of rubber gloves to hold each of my fingers. Nobody else wore rubber gloves. Then he fingerprinted me, photographed me, ran me through the FBI's most-wanted list and told me to go back to Canada and not return until I came back with a waiver. I felt like I was being treated like a terrorist."

Eurekaroad.jpg Arkansas gays converge on Eureka Springs for 'Diversity Weekend': "Homosexual and transsexual residents say that living in Northwest Arkansas has its benefits, such as the small-town atmosphere, natural beauty, and amenities such as shopping and restaurants. But many lament the limited social venues and a lack of connectivity within their own community. 'There is a fairly large population of people that are gay, lesbian or bisexual, but there is no community,' said Fayetteville resident J. Judd Harbin."

road.jpg Ricky Martin battles human trafficking in Cambodia

road.jpg Human rights groups halt concerts by 'murder music' singer Bounty Killer: "In Germany, Bounty Killer's performance in Essen was cancelled and other German concert dates are now in doubt as gay human rights groups are coordinating a Europe-wide campaign to halt his 'Deadly Alliance' tour of the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland."

Eureka Springs, Arkansas to Issue Same-Sex Union Certificates


Arkansas' most gay-friendly resort destination, Eureka Springs, will next week begin recording same-sex unions and issuing certificates in recognition. The certificates offer few new rights beyond recognition but could assist domestic partners seeking health insurance benefits. Of course, the religious right folk are up in arms:

Eurekasprings"The Reverend Philip Wilson, pastor of the First Christian Church, says he thinks the new service by the city is at odds with the town's image as a Victorian village. He has taken out newspaper ads expressing his concerns that recording same-sex unions will make Eureka Springs, as he put it, 'a homosexual Mecca.' The city council voted unanimously last month to set up the registry of unorthodox unions. The certificates will be issued to any pair over 18 years of age who pay a $35 fee. Mayor Dani Wilson -- no relation to the preacher of the same last name -- said she's gotten tons of e-mails wondering when the registry would be open for business."

The town is apparently a popular wedding destination, kind of like the Bible Belt's own Niagara Falls. Folks come to get married under the Christs of the Ozarks statue.

News: Seann William Scott, Gay Panic, Eureka Springs

road.jpg Crying foul on 'gay panic': "Lawmakers in California and New York are considering bills to deter the common courtroom strategy of making a victim's sexual orientation central to a criminal defense. Both measures would require judges to remind jurors that bias toward the victim cannot influence their deliberations."

Christ_1road.jpg Eureka Springs, Arkansas: The Bible Belt's gay tourist mecca watched over by Christ.

road.jpg 18-year-old Jesse Newton gets 30-year prison sentence for killing 48-year-old Harold Bridges after meeting him online in a gay chatroom. Newton: "I'd like to apologize to the Bridges family. I'm sorry. I did not ever mean to kill nobody in my life."

road.jpg Tennessee Bureau of Investigation called in to investigate cross-burning in front of gay man's home: "A cross six to eight feet tall was burned in the front yard of the home Brandon Waters shares with his mother in the Ten Mile community."

road.jpg Death by espresso: Don't drink more than 112 cups in one sitting.

Scottroad.jpg Stiff for Stiffler?: "Seann William Scott turned heads when he showed up at Los Angeles gay bar Heat on the arm of David Geffen."

road.jpg Stephen Dorff's "big swingin' dick" confirmed by NYT critic Stephen Holden. Of course, we've already seen everything but...

road.jpg Rapper Bow Wow may play gay in new film: "There has been some buzz about a film in pre-production that stars Bow Wow as a big-time New York drug dealer is bisexual. Supposedly it's a John Singleton project and the movie is tentatively entitled Boys. Reportedly, the script is (somewhat) homoerotic and involves a gay love scene." (via queerty)

road.jpg Athletic dilution: As Gay Games in Chicago wind down, Out Games in Montreal wind up...

road.jpg Remember that bouncing ball commercial for the Sony Bravia TV? Well, there's another one in the works and it looks like this time they're going to cover an apartment building in colored paint...


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