Arkansas gay rodeo draws attention | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Arkansas gay rodeo draws attention

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 1:39 PM

click to enlarge REUTERS/LUCY NICHOLSON
  • Reuters/Lucy Nicholson
Steve Barnes, reporting for Reuters, pairs the recent International Gay Rodeo Association rodeo in Little Rock with the state's official push — from governor on down — for legal discrimination against gay people. The article does mention some civic departures from the state's discriminatory course.

But mostly it's about the rodeo, including a photo of a lusty kiss between married cowboys.

On a clear Arkansas spring afternoon after a day of horse riding, Wade Earp sighed and said, “I wish we didn’t have to have a gay rodeo. I wish we could just rodeo.”

Earp was a contestant at the International Gay Rodeo event held last month in Arkansas, a Bible Belt state on the front lines of the fight over gay rights and one of the 13 U.S. states where same-sex marriage is not recognized.

“Everybody deserves equal treatment. Everybody deserves equal rights,” said Earp, 45, a native of Benton, Arkansas, where he was raised in a fundamentalist Christian denomination, and a competitor in barrel racing, calf roping and steer riding.

The idea of a gay rodeo in Arkansas was so novel it drew a Florida blog post with other tongue-in-cheek ideas suggested by the happening — the Gaytona 500; Project Runway Alabama (with designer overalls), a KKKLGBT Tea Dance in Mississippi,a gay bass fishing tourney in South Carolina, and so on.

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