Friday, 10 July 2015 16:03

The Debate On Equal Marriage Will Start In October For The Navajo Nation

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Although all American states have legalized marriage equality, some same-sex couples in the US still do not have the right to marry.

There are also within Native American tribes equal marriage bans or laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

According to Associated Press, 10 tribes have laws allowing marriage to everyone and 11 tribes currently prohibit marriage equality as the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma or the Cherokee Nation also based in Oklahoma.

Among these tribes, the Navajos hope to be able to repeal their law banning equal marriage.

«Now there’s Navajo couples that are becoming more vocal, and we’re seeing transgender youth also talking about their rights,» Alray Nelson, a young gay Navajo man, told Fusion in an interview.

And to get this right, he is considering appealing to the Navajo tradition which recognized same-sex unions before.

«There were same-sex couples from our creation story all the way to today. Those relationships were there, they were recognized, and they had every right to be productive members of our community,» Nelson said.

«If they repeal the [Diné Marriage Act] it brings it back to what our traditional values used to be. They’re using the whites man’s language, a foreign way of speaking, to redefine something that was already sacred and defined, we didn’t need to redefine it at all,» he said.

Doctor Brian Gilley, an anthropology professor at the University of Vermont, says that «there is overwhelming evidence for the historic and cultural presence of multiple gender roles and same-sex relations among most if not all Native North Americans, including the Cherokee, and that they historically shared in the institution of marriage.»

This might be the right strategy within these tribes so that same-sex couples be allowed to marry.

The Navajo Nation will address the issue in October.