The city of Eureka Springs, Arkansas
hosted a reception on Saturday to celebrate the hundreds of gay and
lesbian couples who married in May during the six days when it was
legal in the state.
The event was held at Farm Table Fresh
restaurant and was made possible by the generous donations of more
than 40 restaurants, hotels and retailers.
“Wedding receptions are not something
that gay couples are used to,” Michael Walsh, an organizer of the
event, told KY3
News. “They've been excluded from that cultural ritual for a
long, long time. So we wanted to make sure we'd have a public
wedding reception for them and celebrate their joy.”
Roughly 500 couples, most of them in
Pulaski County, exchanged vows after a state judge knocked down the
state's 10-year-old voter-approved constitutional amendment and a
1997 law prohibiting gay couples from marrying. The weddings came to
a halt when the state Supreme Court issued a stay as the state
pursues an appeal.
In 2012, Eureka Springs became the
first Arkansas city to endorse marriage equality.