Wilks counted down again, and queer and trans people embraced their partners, now with the gusto he demanded. About 2. Public imagination renders LGBTQ people as city dwellers, and the dominant narrative says anyone queer or trans living in rural America yearns for escape. There is some truth in that, and for good reason — a recent survey found that Arkansas residents were the least supportive of measures to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, compared to residents of other states. Forty miles southwest of Eureka Springs, Fayetteville is on a similar mission, trying to appeal to LGBTQ people in Arkansas and neighboring states, for whom going on vacation to a major city is cost prohibitive — or not at all desirable.
Experience Fayetteville first in Arkansas to join gay and lesbian tourism group
LGBTQ Professional and Student Associations | Human Rights Campaign
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However, recent years have seen an increasing organization of gay and lesbian people in Arkansas, primarily in the emergence of student groups at the University of Arkansas UA in Fayetteville Washington County and other institutions of higher education. Whether or not this translates into an actual rise in same-sex behavior is impossible to measure; however, there is little doubt that more people were beginning to talk about such previously taboo subjects as homosexuality in the early s. In , a revised sodomy law—amended to penalize only homosexual acts, or sexual acts occurring between humans and animals—in effect decriminalized sodomy by making it a Class A misdemeanor. The law was further challenged in the years that followed until it was finally declared unconstitutional under the Arkansas constitution in the March case of Jegley v. The revision, however, was not reflective of attitudes in Arkansas in general.