by Max Brantley
Mike Carron's restaurant, The Cork & Keg, had only been open about seven weeks when Arkansas passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Some feel that that law, similar to the law that recently caused a major uproar in Indiana, would make it easier for businesses to turn away LGBTQ customers in the name of "religious freedom."
Even though they were a new restaurant just getting on their feet, Carron, his wife Virginia, and son Jaron were among those who felt that this bill could lead to discrimination in their home state. And they couldn't let that stand.
"Many who discriminate against the LGBT community, including some of the legislators that voted for this bill, say that being gay is a choice, which I personally do not believe," said Mike Carron when I spoke to him via Facebook. "I do know that discrimination in any form is a choice."
And his statement is bigger than just one bill in one state.
"Our sign is more than a statement about being LGBT friendly," Carron said. "To us it's the recognition of the worth and dignity of all, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Discrimination and intolerance against any segment of society is to the detriment of all."
If you're in the Fayetteville, Arkansas, area, please show the Carrons some support and stop by! Rumor has it they serve two dozen quality wines, 12 local craft beers, and a cocktail called the Arkansas Mule, which is "made with Arkansas vodka, muddled limes, ginger beer and rhubarb bitters."
Which sounds kind of like heaven. Dipped in heaven. In a glass. (Please drink responsibly!)