Odawa Indians Perform First Gay Marriage in Michigan

In Michigan, where I live, a 2004 ballot measure amended the state Constitution to prohibit the state for recognizing same-sex marriages. That restriction is being challenged in Federal court, but a ruling on it has been delayed until the US Supreme Court decides the two same-sex marriage cases it recently heard arguments on.

In the meantime, the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians tribal council recently voted to allow gay marriages and tribal chairman Dexter McNamara quickly performed the first such marriage in Michigan.

And because of tribal sovereignty, the state’s constitutional ban doesn’t apply here,

Out of 500 federally recognized tribes in the country, and a dozen in Michigan, the Odawa tribe became the first ever to legalize gay marriage in the state and only the third in the nation.

And because of tribal sovereignty, neither the state’s constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage nor the federal Defense of Marriage Act can stop them.


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