We’re still waiting for full federal marriage equality from the U.S. Government, but some Native American nations are already there.
This week the Leech Lake Tribal Court solemnized its first LGBT married couple under its new-this-year marriage equality law. The happy couple met in the late ’90s (aw) and planned to marry in 2008, but Prop 8 cut them off.
Also, they’re going to share a hyphenated last name. How do we feel about this? Very egalitarian, right? Seems like a lot of gay couples are going this route.
Earlier this year, a different couple was married by the Cheyenne Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma, another first in that tribe.
There are eight tribes that allow members to wed, and with the overturning of DOMA earlier this year, now the federal government will recognize those relationships. The interaction between U.S. law and tribal nations is a little complicated (actually a lot complicated) but this is at least one area where tribal sovereignty seems to be working out pretty well.
Of course, just as with equality in the states, there’s still a long way to go. There are hundreds of federally recognized tribal nations (and about two dozen non-recognized), so these eight are just a drop in the bucket. But one wedding at a time, marriage equality is slowly spreading to every corner of the continent.