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US: Chairman of Native American tribe to allow equal marriage and officiate same-sex wedding

Joseph McCormick March 13, 2013
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The chairman of a northern Michigan Native American tribe has said that he will sign an equal marriage bill on Friday, and will then officiate the wedding of two men.

The legislative body of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians voted 5-4 on 3 March to amend its laws to allow equal marriage.

Chairman Dexter McNamara has said that he will sign the bill into law on in Harbor Springs on Friday morning, reports Seattle PI.

He then plans to officiate the wedding of two tribe members, Tim LaCroix, 53, and Gene Barfield, 60.

At least two other Native American tribes recognise equal marriage.

In 2008, the Coquille Indian Tribe on the southern Oregon coast, who are a federally recognised sovereign nation, are not bound by Oregon’s constitution, and so allowed equal marriage amongst its members.

In 2011, the Suquamish Tribal Council voted to give marriage rights to gay couples on its Seattle reservation.

Michigan’s Constitution bans gay marriage, but in January, its Court of Appeals has upheld a policy from the Michigan Civil Service Commission which grants healthcare benefits to same-sex partners of state employees.

More: Americas, little traverse bay bands of odawa indians, Michigan, native american, US

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