Ark. City Celebrates Same-Sex Married Couple with a Wedding Reception

From an Out In Eureka press release:

Eureka Springs, AR plans ‘Married To Equality’ wedding reception for LGBT newlyweds.

The first city in Arkansas to officially endorse marriage equality and the first in which same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses in May will be the first in the state to hold an open-to-the-public wedding reception for LGBT newlyweds on August 2.

The town is bringing back the first same-sex couple married there May 10 for a free weekend vacation and a reception in their honor. The event is also intended to send a message to local, county and state officials who continue oppose marriage equality.

Jennifer Rambo and Kristen Seaton of Fort Smith, AR made history at the Carroll County Courthouse in Eureka Springs when they were granted the first marriage license issued to an Arkansas same-sex couple the day after the state’s gay marriage ban was declared unconstitutional by a state court. That ruling was later stayed by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Cheryl K. Maples, the Searcy attorney who won the lawsuit striking down the same-sex marriage prohibition, Little Rock attorney Jack Wagoner who is heading up a similar lawsuit in federal court and former Carroll County Deputy Clerk Jane Osborn who issued the first marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples will be guests of honor.

Billed as the “Married To Equality” reception at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m on August 2, the event will be one of the highlights of the town’s annual Summer Diversity Weekend, Aug. 1-3.

Sponsored by the local LGBT travel and visitor website, Out In Eureka, the national Human Rights Campaign and the Eureka Springs Gay Business Guild, the reception will be hosted by one of the resort town’s newest restaurants, Farm to Table Fresh. “Eureka Springs has long been known as the ‘Wedding Capitol of the South’,” restaurateur Ken Ketelsen said. “This will be a special event for the celebration of marriage and a time to congratulate all couples who of have embarked on that journey together.”

Other top restaurants in town will provide appetizers, deserts and multiple wedding cakes. Seaton, 27, and Rambo, 26, will stay in a VIP suite at Heart of the Hills Bed & Breakfast, an historic Victorian-era inn owned by Eureka Springs City Councilman David Mitchell. Rogue’s Manor and DeVito’s restaurants will provide dinners-for-two to the couple.

Out In Eureka website co-owner Michael Walsh said the notion of a public wedding reception for Rambo and Seaton—as well as all recent LGBT newlyweds—has been widely embraced.

“It’s just what we do here,” he said. “Eureka Springs has a long history of equality and hospitality and honeymooning. The whole town wants commemorate that historic day when Eureka Springs became the first city in the state—and in the southern half of the country—in which pioneering same-sex couples could be legally married,” he said. “Business and civic groups, artists, galleries, bakers, printers and gift shops are all chipping in.”

Farm To Table Fresh restaurant
179 N. Main
See location on Google maps

This entry was posted in Gay Marriage Equality, local GLBT News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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