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Federally Recognized Gay Marriage


The first federally recognized same-sex marriage will happen on the Coquille reservation in Oregon


[T]he Coquille Tribe on the southern Oregon coast has just legalized marriage on their land. And Kitzen and Jeni Branting, in a committed lesbian relationship since high school, will soon be legally wed.

Though most Native American cultures have been fairly accepting of a wide range of genders and sexualities, sometimes honoring “two-spirits” as shamans, contemporary tribal laws have mostly banned same-sex marriage.

According to Brian Gilley, anthropology professor at the University of Vermont and author of the book, Becoming Two-Spirit: Gay Identity and Social Acceptance in Indian Country, “Because the Coquille is federally recognized, a marriage “occurring within the tribe would actually be federally recognized.”

via OregonLive

Written by Eric Stoller

August 20th, 2008 at 9:19 pm

  • Dennis


  • Joseph Orosco

    I’m not sure how this would work because of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in which Congress defines marriage as between a man and a woman for federal purposes.

  • Eric Stoller

    @Joseph – Tribal sovereignty vs. a federal act. I’m not sure how it’s going to work…

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