(Blogmensgo, gay blog of December 21, 2016) On December 9, 2016, the Cherokee Nation recognized same-sex partnerships and marriages of members of the Nation. This is the result of an official opinion of the Cherokee National Attorney General of Oklahoma.
Following a question by the Tax Commission Director, the Attorney General, Todd Hembree, issued a very clear statement.
Toddy Hembree considers sections 1 and 3 of the Cherokee Nation Marriage and Family Act, which define marriage as a civil contract between one man and one woman and explicitly prohibit homosexual marriages, as unconstitutional.
Todd Hembree was one of the authors of this act in 2004 but has since changed his mind with regards to same-sex marriage. Here is a video of the committee meeting in which the Cherokee Nation’s new opinion on gay marriage was discussed and decided.
Furthermore, Todd Hembree stated that the Cherokee Nation will recognize all marriages contracted by Cherokee citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, and grant all related benefits (taxes, social law, succession etc.).
In his very detailed opinion, the Attorney General points out that there has always been “a tradition of homosexuality or alternative sexuality among a minority of Cherokees.”
The following video clip teaches us the Cherokee word of the week: “courthouse.”
In the United States, each Nation of Native Americans has its own legislation and jurisdiction even though they frequently follow the Supreme Court.
Although the Cherokee Nation now advocates same-sex rights and ways of life, many other Native American nations or tribes (Navajo, Seminoles and others) still do not recognize them.
Comment: According to Wikipedia, there are three federally recognized tribes and many more tribes and groups but it is not completely clear whether the current decision of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is applicable or binding to all these Cherokee citizens.