Navajo Nation Election Erection

Hey, did we mention it’s election day? Yeah? Well, we’ll probably mention it a few more times today – as will the rest of the nation.
Don’t worry, though, after tomorrow we won’t have to deal with it…oh, right, all the voting machine nightmares and legal dramas probably won’t wrap up until January. God, why can’t we just have a good ol’ shoot-out or something? What’s so special about this democracy business, anyway? It sure as fuck isn’t working in Iraq.

But, we digress. While many people watch key races in Wisconsin, New York and Colorado (Ted Haggard, did you vote?), members of the Navajo Nation have a relatively unpublicized, yet just as monumental presidential election today.

As in so many other races, the two candidates: incumbent Joe Shirley Jr (pictured) and lady upstart, Linda Lovejoy, couldn’t be more different when it comes to homosexuality.

Shirley vetoed a proposed ban on gay-marriage, only to have the tribal council strike down his vote. In a 2005 interview with Democracy Now!, Shirley insisted that gay-marriage in the Navajo Nation’s a non-issue. Thus, there’s no reason to ban it:

Nobody is coming forward to say that, you know — gay people, they’re not coming forward to say, we want to get married in the tribal courts. It’s not an issue, and I don’t know why the Nation’s council is concerned about it, and they have passed a legislation to say that we shall not have it. There are other issues that they really ought to be concerned about, you know: the driving under the influence is really killing a lot of people, even the young; bootlegging; domestic violence; gangs. These are just some of the issues that we really need to be working on, and doing something about, not banning same sex marriage.

Meanwhile, Lovejoy doesn’t seem to know what she thinks about homosexuality. According to 365 Gay, within a span of a few hours, Lovejoy called homosexuality “a lifestyle choice” and equated it with a “birth defect”.

At a forum in Albuquerque Lovejoy called homosexuality a birth defect.

“Some of our children are born with physical impairments, and it’s not the baby’s fault. … That person is special, that individual is special,” she said at the forum. “I feel the same way about sexual orientation: everyone is special.”

Later, when pressed by a local television station she suggested sexuality was a matter of choice.

“I respect everyone and that’s their choice, that’s their lifestyle they choose,” she said.

Not surprisingly, the confused woman hasn’t come out publicly on gay-marriage. Given the tribal council’s ardent opposition (not to mention veto power), we can’t imagine how a presidential shift will change the matter.

If Lovejoy does win the presidency, she’ll be the first female president in the nation’s history. If she loses….well, she won’t be.