Native Americans' Views of Same Sex Marriage


Just as the United States debates whether or not to end the exclusion of same-sex couples and their families from marriage, Native American tribes are addressing the same issue.

Native American tribes are federally recognized sovereign nations — thus they can create their own policies around marriage for same-sex couples. Native American tribes have historically accepted LGBT/Two-Spirit same-sex relationships, and in 2009, the first tribe in the nation, the Coquille Tribe of Oregon, approved the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Since then, several other tribes have extended marriage to same-sex couples to same-sex couples, with several proactively approving resolutions in favor of the freedom to marry and others newly realizing that their tribal code does not reference gender and thus, permits marriage between same-sex couples.

The individual laws of the various United States federally recognized Native American tribes set the limits on same-sex marriage under their jurisdictions. Most, but not all, Native American jurisdictions have no special regulation for marriages between people of the same sex or gender. Same-sex marriage is possible in the Coquille Tribe (Oregon) since 2008, the Suquamish tribe (Washington) since 2011 and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Washington), the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (Minnesota), Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (Michigan), Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (Michigan), and Santa Ysabel Tribe (California) since 2013. The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes were granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples by 2013, without any change to their marriage laws. These marriages were first recognized by the federal government in 2013 after section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was declared unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor. Under Section 2 of DOMA, individual states are explicitly free not to recognize same-sex marriages.

Nations that provide legal recognition for same sex marriages

Nations that do not recognize same sex marriage


Source: Wikipedia
Source: Freedom To Marry