Metro Weekly

Indian tribes are divided over gay marriage

“The debate in Indian country is very similar to the debate in the United States in that you have strong feelings going both ways. What you see in Indian country is this struggle between the historical accepting of the two-spirit individuals versus the relatively new but yet very strong Christian influences.”

Elizabeth Ann Kronk, member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe and director of the Tribal Law and Governance Center at the University of Kansas School of Law, on the struggle the nation’s tribes are having with same-sex marriage. Only three of the nation’s federally recognized 566 Native American tribes have signed off on gay marriage, including Washington State’s Suquamish Tribe, Oregon’s Coquille Indian Tribe, and Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa. The issue is of particular interest in the Native American community due to the notion of “two-spirit” individuals, a belief that certain people have both a masculine and feminine spirit. (Washington Post)

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Randy Shulman is Metro Weekly's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at

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