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Group wants to repeal Navajo Nation’s ban on same-sex marriage

Sunday, January 5, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An effort to repeal the Navajo Nation’s same-sex marriage ban has been energized by court decisions in some states to allow such unions.

Navajo-NationAlray Nelson, organizer of a gay and lesbian rights group advocating a repeal of the tribe’s same-sex marriage ban, is looking for new members of the council to introduce a repeal proposal, reports The Albuquerque Journal.

But Council member Lorenzo Bates said no one on the council is pushing for a repeal of the law and that constituents aren’t raising the issue.

An adviser to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly says the tribal president respects the choice of gay or lesbian Navajos to get married elsewhere, but that the president isn’t making a repeal of the ban a priority.

A Navajo Nation official said last month the tribe’s own law prohibiting same-sex marriage isn’t affected by the New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples in that state.

“The purposes of marriage on the Navajo Nation are to promote strong families and to preserve and strengthen family values,” the tribe’s law states.

There are currently eight Native American tribes which allow same-sex marriage, 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.

The Navajo Nation occupies portions of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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30 more reader comments:

  1. This will not be easy. Since the Christianization of large parts of the community, they have forgotten their way. I speak as a member of the Nation

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:25pm
  2. Didn't most Native American nations embrace same-sex couples before white men forced them onto the reservations?

    Replied on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:31pm
  3. See what the Muslim's have to say about GAYS!!!! Watch my new video "Real Men", please share and leave comments on YouTube. Share what God Like!!! don't http://youtu.be/o14oIHUaBTg

    Replied on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:38pm
  4. it is not impossible. They just need to be reminded of the old original ways.

    Replied on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:45pm
  5. sad...

    Replied on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9:06pm
  6. Yer white(x

    Replied on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 10:23pm
  7. Gays did nothing wrong in life, like straight marriage couples who uses their children to be put on the porn sites.

    Replied on Monday, January 6, 2014 at 12:51am
  8. Indian Reservations are exempt from all state laws and certain federal laws. State law enforcement can NOT enter under any circumstances. If they are in pursuit, and the person enters the reservation, the police must notify Indian police. They must take over the chase, apprehend, and give them back at the gate.

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:27pm
  9. Fundies are infiltrating EVERYTHING. Is nothing sacred? Sheesh.

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:29pm
  10. White conservative Christianity injecting and penetrating into Native culture is no new thing. It's how the White Man managed to calm the unrest, by encouraging future generations to forget their heritage and, eventually, to forget their birthright to these lands.

    Replied on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:41pm
  11. I curse my predominantly white ancestry, and hope that future generations will prove to be more kind and less domineering. I can only hope they won't be poisoned with the ideals of Manifest Destiny and nationalism and racism that led our forefathers to persecute.

    Replied on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:45pm
  12. I know right…. we have nuts among our people too!

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:31pm
  13. so much for the embracing of ‘two spirit’ people – shameful

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:31pm
  14. People need to shut up about what they think they know about being native or about the navajo nation.

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:37pm
  15. See what the Muslim’s have to say about GAYS!!!! Watch my new video “Real Men”, please share and leave comments on YouTube. Share what God Like!!! don’t http://youtu.be/o14oIHUaBTg

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:38pm
  16. We will prevail and embrace marriage equality by repealing the Dine’ Marriage Act of 2005

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:42pm
  17. Two spirit people were here before Europeans.

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:44pm
  18. …but I thought it was the Mormon Church that pitted the native American tribes against us! Was it really the Protestants?

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:56pm
  19. U cant if its aginst the belifes of the nation. Its indepent of the us and is ruled by a relgious governing body.

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9:00pm
  20. They need to remember their heritage and those with the special spirit – and allow it! It is happening in states where marriage is not legal – and being accepted!

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9:11pm
  21. Or people could simply move off the reservation and join the rest of America…

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9:17pm
  22. Wow just wow, there are two types of laws just and unjust. All just laws should be followed by ALL people

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9:23pm
  23. Traditional Navaho culture has nothing resembling homophobia. It the infiltration of Christian fascism that is behind it.

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9:29pm
  24. Dinè, billigana achaa.

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9:30pm
  25. I’m native and I couldn’t give a single fuck.
    They’re right next to flagstaff, if they wanna get married go there(x

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 10:22pm
  26. I wonder what a shaman would say about that.

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 10:27pm
  27. I love all your comments people! =:]

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 10:40pm
  28. every native american nation is a Sovereign Nation.

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 11:29pm
  29. Hold the fuck up, the Navajo have a ban on same-sex marriages, even though they use to protect gay/lesbian couples cause they where 2 spirits? Talk about forgetting your heritage. Damn.

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 11:32pm
  30. I agree Krysta (I’m not Navajo, I’m part Cherokee). Although, it’s really not all that surprising, considering the reservation is surrounded by the land that claims “all men are created equal” yet endorsed slavery, gender discrimination, and homophobia (and still does to varying degrees).

    Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 11:44pm