Monday, December 23, 2013

The Navajo Nation Clarifies: Our Gay Marriage Ban Still Exists!

New Mexico might have marriage equality, but the Navajo Nation is still a marriage inequality tribe!:
In June 2005, the Navajo Nation Council enacted the Diné Marriage Act to recognize marriages "contracted" outside of tribal lands but that law says same-sex marriage is "void and prohibited." Navajo law also does not recognize polygamy or marriage between family members. "The purposes of marriage on the Navajo Nation are to promote strong families and to preserve and strengthen family values," the law states.

Deswood Tome, an advisor to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, said New Mexico's legalization of same-sex marriage does not affect tribal law. The Navajo Tribe is a sovereign nation and while it respects the laws of other states and agencies, it has established its own law regarding same-sex marriage and that remains in place until the council decides otherwise, he said.
This is the flipside of other recent news stories where American Indian tribes -- including the Coquille Indian Tribe in Oregon, the Santa Ysabel Tribe in California, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington State, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma -- have recognized same-sex marriages within their own tribes even though the surrounding state bans recognition of such marriages.

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