Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Suquamish Tribe Approves Same-Sex Marriage

The Suquamish Tribe of the Port Madison area of Washington State has joined the Coquille Indians of Coos Bay, Oregon in becoming another Native American Tribe to approve same-sex nuptials.

Heather Purser, a lesbian member of that tribe, put the matter to a vote in Tribal Council and was surprised when the Suquamish leadership put up little to no resistance, adopting marriage equality posthaste.  Now the language of the marriage laws for that tribe make no mention of gender, meaning any consenting adult may marry whom they choose as long as one member of the union belongs to the Suquamish Tribe.

"The new law allows the tribal court to issue a marriage license to two unmarried people, 'regardless of their sex,' if they at least 18 years old and at least one of them is an enrolled member of the Suquamish Tribe.

"In 2009 the Coquille Indian Tribe in Coos Bay, Ore., became what many believed to be the first Indian tribe to marry a gay couple, two women from Edmonds, Wash.

"Michelle Hansen, Suquamish Tribal attorney, said the Suquamish ordinance does not have effect anywhere else unless that jurisdiction decides to recognize same-sex marriages conducted elsewhere."

Congrats to the LGBT members of Suquamish Tribe!

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