Here in the United States we have a bad habit of stereotyping our states. Kentucky has nothing but tough farmers with shotguns over their shoulders and a scarecrow in every field; Texas is filled with gun-toting cowboys; if you're from New York you are either Jewish or from Brooklyn or both ... and so on. And if you're from Arkansas, you're a dumb hillbilly.
Well, it seems the citizens of Arkansas have shown us that they're made of better stuff than that.
The story started when Us Weekly magazine put a big picture of Elton John, his husband and their newly adopted baby on the front cover of the magazine. This apparently offended the sensibilities of Harps Grocery story chain, which put a "family values" shield in front of it so that children couldn't see the cover.
That's the same shield they use to hide pornography from the kids. Not only that, but one store in Mountain Home, Arkansas went so far as to wrap the magazines in plastic so that kids (and adults) couldn't even flip through it to see the pictures.
Of a baby!
That's when the good news started. Led by gay-rights activists, the citizens of Arkansas raised a huge protest, which was so effective that the store was forced to remove the protective shield from the magazine and display it properly.
My hat is off to the good citizens of Arkansas. I know that stereotyping is always an unfair and dangerous attitude, but I have to confess to holding stereotypical views of the state. But this has shown me that there are many good citizens in the state of Arkansas who don't fit the stereotype.
True love is a rare and wonderful thing, and we should be happy when anyone finds it, whether gay or straight. And when a happy couple adopts a little baby, that's cause for rejoice. A new family was formed. And maybe somewhere in Arkansas, a few young gay people will be heartened by this great piece of news.