It’s autumn in the Ozarks, that glorious time of year when trees don their colorful gay apparel in preparation for Fall Diversity Weekend. As is traditional in the weeks leading up to every Diversity Weekend–particularly fall–the HSA (Homosexual Security Agency) division of Gay News has noted a sharp uptick in religious terrorism chatter.
The first thing that caught the attention of alert Gay News readers was a poll on the front page of Eureka’s local right-wing newspaper. The question: “How do you feel about the efforts of Eureka Springs Mayor Dani Joy so far?”
Innocent question, no? Perfectly normal thing for a newspaper to ask: “How do you feel about the performance of an elected official?”
But, as Gay News readers (and practically everyone in Arkansas and neighboring states) knows–we’re talking about our old friend Al, editor of the local right-wing newspaper, the minister (of some unspecified denomination) who prays daily that God will use an ungodly method to rid Eureka Springs of its large (and growing) queer population.
Al tends to favor the Demolition by Homosexuality theory. At least four times a year, just before each Diversity Weekend, Al likes to remind us that God destroyed New Orleans for its sins. No, it wasn’t a hurricane or broken levees. It was God–who destroyed New Orleans as a punishment for the city’s inexplicable refusal to act like a slavering pack of illiterate, unwashed, fundamentalist, Islamic terrorists and stone its local and visiting queer population into holy, heterosexual submission.
Whenever one of Eureka’s four, regularly scheduled Diversity Weekends approaches, we can always count on Al to issue the dire warning that, “God destroyed New Orleans for its ‘sexual sin.’” If Eureka Springs doesn’t wise up, says Al, and drop-kick all the GLBTi, PFLAG, and general Party People Diversity revelers out of Eureka Springs, well…God is going to turn Eureka Springs into a grease spot and, maybe, a few leftover flecks of whirling ash.
Thanks Al! Once again, we consider ourselves warned. (Note to self: Bring a bag of Jet-Puffed marshmallows to the drag show… just in case.)
Given Al’s well known and frequently repeated opinion that, some Diversity Weekend, God is going to destroy Eureka Springs in a fit of pique–when Al posted his poll, a number of people made what would seem to be the perfectly natural assumption that Al is up to something. We are, after all, talking about the guy who signaled his intention to fix the wagons of the “liberal council and mayor” on the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow web site.
So Diversity and DPR supporters from far and wide answered Al’s poll with a decisive love-vote for Mayor Joy.
“Not fair!” Al complains, in this week’s sulky editorial. “Many out of town votes were cast showing that people approve of Dani. Out of town people have artificially run this poll through the roof at the request of a few locals. So I apologize to Dani–you cannot take this poll seriously because there are very likely many votes cast in this poll by those that did not vote for you in the election and know very little of your work in town, save one issue that brought them together.”
The “one issue” would, of course, be Eureka Springs’ Domestic Partnership Registry–the very issue that will incite God to reduce Eureka Springs to a smoking pile of Victorian splinters and ash–or so Al regularly reminds us.
OK, Al. You got us. We clearly misinterpreted the timing, content and intention of your poll. Our bad. So let’s move right along to other totally innocent and utterly coincidental events that happened, for no particular reason, at the same time as your poll.
First, we’re proud to report that Eureka Springs hit the front page of the American Family Association’s October “Sexual Sin” issue.
In an article entitled, “Eureka!Exclaim gay activists,” subtitled, “Arkansas city council sides with homosexuals, against Christians,” the AFA sends an altar call to Christians: “Get busy replacing the mayor and the city council.” (Pure coincidence. No, really.)
Meanwhile, back at City Hall, the AFA submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for DVD’s of every council meeting that lead to the ultimate, unanimous adoption of the Eureka Springs DPR.
Plus, and this is our favorite, an individual using a fake name from nearby Berryville, Alaska submitted an FOIA request for the same set of meeting DVD’s that are suddenly (and coincidentally) fascinating to the AFA.
(Hey, goofballs! Berryville is in Arkansas, not Alaska. If you’re going to send deep cover operatives to City Hall, can you at least try to find a Double-O-Zealot who passed fourth grade geography?)
The home address listed on the FOIA form was even better. It was the Berryville funeral home compound–specifically, the address used for the body transport business.
We briefly toyed with the idea of asking the county coroner to unzip a few body bags, see if the imaginary dead guy who files FOIA’s in Eureka Springs would be willing to be interviewed for Gay News. But we decided it would be more fun to see if we’re witnessing the birth of a trend, or if the Fundie Voodoo resurrection of dead homophobes is an isolated incident.
Yes, it’s Fall Diversity Weekend in Eureka Springs, Halloween, Night of the Living Dead–where zombies plead with God to rain fire and brimstone on the the City of Sexual Sin.
Or, for those who enjoy something a bit less morbid, we’re also offering a full schedule of activities that are ideal for the living members of your Diversity Weekend entourage.