Growing up for any kid is hard, but there is often a special kind of hell for those growing up gay or lesbian in Arkansas. This is the Bible Belt. We're slow to change, and for all our Southern politeness, the prejudices of older folks tend to percolate through the generational strata whether we want them or not.
"We have just enough religion to make us hate," wrote Jonathan Swift "but not enough to make us love one another." A lifelong religious controversialist, the 18th century Irish satirist definitely knew whereof he wrote. After all, it's fewer than 20 years since Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland quit dynamiting each other's gathering places.
It's an important day for efforts to end the ban on same-sex marriage in Arkansas. A lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court by Searcy lawyer Cheryl Maples on behalf of a number of gay and lesbian couples seeking to strike down Arkansas's ban on same-sex marriage is before Judge Chris Piazza this afternoon.
Juanita's, the venerable Tex-Mex restaurant and music venue, is leaving the South Main Street location it's called home since 1986 for the River Market and the former home of Bill St., 614 President Clinton Ave.