It’s a new day in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The relatively liberal local government will begin domestic partner registry, a largely symbolic practice through which the government and local businesses recognize both heterosexual and same-sex relationships. Not surprisingly, there’s been a bit of a protest.
One of the most vocal opponents, Reverend Philip Wilson, claims the move will turn the 2,350-strong town into a “homosexual mecca”. In an effort to stop the registry, Wilson handed over a petition signed by at least 160 people. City officials, however, tossed it aside. A man of conviction, Wilson tried again. And, again, officials dismissed his discriminatory move.
Meanwhile, known homosexual Alvin Byrd and his lover Charlie Thomas welcomed the move. The boys, who have been together for nine years, plan on heading down to city hall this morning, plopping down the $35 fee and skipping into the future. Byrd remarked, “To me, it’s just a wonderful day that we have our city government that’s here recognizing us.”
While Arkansas doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, the domestic registry recognizes and validates same-sex couples. It also offers them limited rights, particularly with regard to companies that recognize domestic partnerships.
Who knew Arkansas could be so cool?