Although you could say this about both sides of the battle, this was an organizing experience that may benefit us later on. The backlash against change is pretty obvious in Arkansas right now, and discouraging; but positive changes are happening (nationwide) and will happen. What I saw was a really fearful minority (overall) spending tons of money to try to hold back the trends. They will fail.
We were at an event last night that we signed up for before the election date was even set. At the break, everybody was checking phones to find out whether the votes had been counted. There was a sadness when we all knew the outcome, but there we were, being fed intermission food by a gay restaurateur who is married to a banker. They and all the others are not going away, and they will protect one another and be protected by the rest of us until the law is changed.
I remember when Ben Kimpel and Duncan Eaves and other prominent UA faculty members pretended to shop for houses so that when their black colleagues asked to look at the house listings they could not be turned away. Black professionals at Walmart and Black and Decker and IBM now choose to live in Fayetteville and commute to Bentonville (though Bentonville is also opening up).
The next city election cycle will tell the tale here. I think we'll be targeted for some time. Paul Phaneuf, who lost in our Ward 1 runoff, canvassed our street for repeal of the ordinance; I think he was scouting for his next race And Lioneld Jordan, the mayor, will have well-funded opposition — if not from Justin Tennant, Steve Clark's son-in-law, then from someone like him. But Lioneld got 62% against the popular former mayor last time and will likely prevail again.