Metro Weekly

Navajo Nation having its own debate on gay marriage

“Our culture dictates acceptance. [Gay Navajos] are part of our family, they are our children, and we don’t need to be partial.”

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–Former Navajo Nation president Joe Shirley, Jr., now running again to be president of Navajo Nation, regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage. At issue is the question of whether to repeal a 2005 law known as the Dine Marriage Act that prohibits same-sex unions on Navajo reservation lands.  The repeal of the Dine Marriage Act, which could be repealed by a vote of the Navajo Nation Council, is important to the recognition of same-sex relationships because neither Navajo Nation nor any of the other 565 federally recognized Native American tribes would be bound by a favorable ruling on marriage equality from the U.S. Supreme Court, according to an article in The New York Times highlighting the internal debate among members of Navajo Nation.

Image: Joe Shirley, Jr. / Facebook. 

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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