Two Largest Native American Tribes In U.S. Ban Gay Marriage

But a number of smaller tribes allow it

As states across the country pass laws allowing same-sex marriages, the nation’s two largest Native American tribes — as well as a handful of smaller tribes — have laws on the books banning it.

A report by the Associated Press found that the Navajo and the Cherokee have reaffirmed or strengthened their decades-old tribal laws banning gay marriage in recent years. Those two tribes have a collective 600,000 members. The Navajo are clustered in the Southwest, where Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico come together. The Cherokee mostly live in Oklahoma. Another 10 smaller tribes that together have another 350,000 members also now have laws specifically prohibiting gay marriage.

Because they reside on sovereign land, these tribes will still be able to ban same-sex marriage even if the U.S. Supreme Court decides that to do so is unconstitutional when it rules on a landmark same-sex marriage case later this year.

There are, however, 22 smaller tribes that specifically permit same-sex marriages, the majority of which had laws dating back to the 1950s stating that marriage guidelines would follow state laws in their respective states. When the states in which they reside moved to allow same-sex marriages, those tribes’ marriage laws simply followed suit. Of the nation’s 10 largest Native American tribes, only the Blackfoot Tribe — with 23,583 members, according to the 2010 U.S. Census — specifically allows same-sex marriage. Those 22 tribes are sprinkled around the U.S.

An additional 77 tribes currently have no laws stating whether they will recognize same-sex marriages.

Read More:

Influential Black Group Abandons Presbyterians Over Gay Marriage (Vocativ)

Navajo Women Walk 1,000 Miles To Protest Pipeline (Vocativ)


Porn's Race Problem

Tracy Clark-Flory

We Played Rand Paul's Space Invader Game So You Don't Have To

Jennings Brown

Migrant Rescue Charity Gets $1 Million In Donations After Viral Photo

Saar Fresco

Teens Involved In "Experimental" Sexting Don't Often Face Prosecution

Tracy Clark-Flory

A Brief History Of: Kim Davis Vs. Gay America

Jennings Brown

Jim Harbaugh Has About a 50% Chance of Being a Good College Coach

Thomas MacMillan

The Price For Saudi Support On Iran Deal? U.S. Help In Yemen War

Shane Dixon Kavanaugh

These 13 Photos Show The Faces Of Syrian Refugee Struggle

Ryan Beckler