Group wants to repeal Navajo same-sex marriage ban

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An effort to repeal the Navajo Nation's same-sex marriage ban has been energized by decisions in some states to allow such unions.

The Albuquerque Journal reports ( that Alray Nelson, organizer of a gay and lesbian rights group advocating a repeal of the tribe's same-sex marriage ban, is looking for new members of the council to introduce a repeal proposal.

Tribal sovereignty lets the Navajo Nation continue enforcement of its own 2005 gay marriage ban.

The nation's ban isn't affected by a New Mexico court decision that legalized marriage for gay and lesbian couples and a subsequent ruling that struck down a ban of same-sex marriage in Utah.

Council member Lorenzo Bates said no one on the council is pushing for a repeal of the law and that constituents aren't raising the issue.

Deswood Tome, an adviser to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, said the tribal president respects the choice of gay or lesbian Navajos to get married elsewhere, but that the president isn't making a repeal of the tribe's 2005 law a priority.

"I don't believe he's going to advocate for it, because the president has priorities in areas of job creation, business development, infrastructure, housing, education, health and those right now are where the president's focus is," Tome said. "I imagine the same with the Navajo Nation council."

Just one of the current council's 24 members voted against the marriage law in 2005, when the council comprised 88 delegates.

Meanwhile, 10 current council members voted in favor of the law. Nine delegates to the council have been newly elected since the 2005 vote.

Navajo Council Speaker Johnny Naize said the ban is rooted in traditional Navajo values, which for some Navajo families still mean that arranged marriages and scripted interactions between families before a marriage is recognized.

"The tradition with that says that the marriage has to be between a man and woman. That's how we respect our tradition," said Naize, who voted in favor of the same-sex marriage ban in 2005.

That marriage tradition, he said, has nothing to do with discrimination. Unlike Western culture, in which church and state are clearly separated, Navajo culture intertwines government with cultural heritage.

Naize said he doesn't expect the New Mexico ruling will create any pressure for the tribe to reconsider its own marriage laws. Rather, the issue might be reconsidered when Navajo traditional values "subside," he said.

"Ten years, 15 years, I think," Naize said.

MI Marriage Trial

Michigan Same Sex Couples Demand Respect And Equal Treatment

Michigan Leaders React To Feds Recognition Of Marriages

MI Marriage: Schuette Asks For Full Appeals Court Review

The Stay Delayed Allows 315 Couples To Wed In State

Gay Marriage Defines Schuette's Reelection Campaign

Snyder Says Schuette Going Against Trend

Sixth Circuit Continues Stay

Michigan Marriage Ban Struck Down

Michigan Makes History With First Marriages

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Aappeal

Pictures from Ingham County - Getting Married

Pictures from Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 1

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's office - Part 2

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 3

Pictures from Washtenaw County

White Nationalist Group Files Brief Supporting AG's Appeal In Marriage Ruling

Discredited Witness Part Of Right-Wing Cabal

Schauer Celebrates Overturn Of Michigan Marriage Ban

Equality Michigan Circulating Petition to Drop Appeal

Why Are Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette Wasting Michigan Taxpayer Dollars On A Costly Appeal?

Michigan Marriage Ban Co-Author Goes 'Moral'

BTL's Wedding Expo: Like Pride in April

Snyder Says Marriages Invalid

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Appeal

Request To Remove Stay Based On Process And Substance

Schuette Lies To Satisfy Political Base

DOCUMENTS: The decision, the stay, and more

BREAKING: Holder Asked To Recognize Michigan Marriages

Michigan Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

BREAKING: Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay On Michigan Case

BREAKING: Same-Sex Couples Across Michigan Get Hitched

BREAKING: Judge Friedman Declares Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Judge Could Rule Late Today In Mich. Marriage Ban

Michigan Marriage Trial: And Now We Wait

Editor's Viewpoint: Our Long Journey To Justice

Federal Marriage Case Decisions Outside Michigan In Circuit Court of Appeals

Peers Distance Themselves As Regnerus Takes The Stand

Marriage Supporters, Protestors Brave Cold At Courthouse

Highlights From Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

Brown Says Schuette Instructed Clerks To Defy Court

Michigan Marriage Equality Trial Begins Second Week

Marriage Equality Trial Opens : Science v. Fear

Michigan Marriage Center Prepares State For The Possibility!

Michigan Marriage Case Begins

A Trial Full of Experts: Incredible and Not So Credible, In Hazel Park Case

like us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+