Love Wins

The “love wins” movement for LGBTQIA+ community members’ right to marriage equality began more than a decade ago, but it’s still being celebrated today and continues to bring together those who enjoy the rewards.

Four Arkansans who were among some of the first couples to marry in the state after then-Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in 2014 gathered at Basin Park on Saturday, May 10, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their nuptials. Among them was the first couple to be married in Arkansas, Jennifer and Kristen Seaton-Rambo of Fort Smith, as well as Zeek Taylor of Eureka Springs (partner of Dick Titus) and Jay Wilks, also of Eureka Springs (partner of Keith Johnston).

Wilks, head of the Out in Eureka Springs group, orchestrated a day where LGBTQIA+ couples could join the ranks of the married with the help of Taylor, who served as officiant.

One couple took up the offer. Kevin Jean and John Swan, formerly of Austin, Texas, but now proud Eureka transplants, stopped their Saturday chores just long enough to get a marriage license and exchange vows in the park. The pair, dressed casually in shorts, had been laying concrete on a property they own when a friend told them about the wedding opportunity. Wilks stood witness, and the Seaton- Rambos renewed their vows.

The newlyweds ran their signed marriage license to the Carroll County Courthouse in Eureka Springs and enjoyed lunch before they were to return to the job site. The pair also own and operate a bed and breakfast in town. Additionally, one is a beekeeper and the other specializes in vegan-made delicacies.