Freedom To Marry

The gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide

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Why Marriage Matters to Native Americans

In a letter to the Navajo tribal council after a disappointing law passed continuing marriage discrimination, Navajo LGBT rights activist Tomasina Grey said, "...give us the freedom to follow our hearts, the freedom to choose our mates, help us to restore our connection to the land, to our people and our spirituality by acknowledging our choice to love freely."

Just as the United States debates whether or not to end the exclusion of same-sex couples and their families from marriage, Native American tribes are also struggling to address the issue. Even though people of alternative sexuality in Native American culture, called Two-Spirited people, have been historically greatly respected in Native American culture, Western cultural influence injected homophobia into Native American tribes across the nation. Two-Spirit people face the same marriage discrimination as most of same-sex couples in the United States and suffer as a result. Some tribes are making advances, but there is still much progress to make.

Use the key resources below to learn more about why marriage matters to Native Americans.

 


 

FROM EVAN WOLFSON:

Loving equality
The Huffington Post
June 12, 2007

Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson and civil rights attorney Bernard S. Cohen, who argued the Loving's case, write together about Loving v. Virginia as a milestone in racial equality, an important vindication of marriage as a cherished civil right, and a testament to the importance of fighting for equality, rather than sitting by silently, indifferently, or complacently in the face of cruel exclusion.

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WHERE YOU CAN GO TO GET INVOLVED OR LEARN MORE:

Celebrating the Freedom to Marry on the 40th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia
Our page commemorates the Loving celebration in June 2007 which was co-sponsored by civil rights organizations from across the country to honor the freedom to marry as a civil right, featuring a rare public statement by Mrs. Mildred Loving (a plaintiff in the historic Loving v. VirginiaSupreme court case which ended racial discrimination in marriage) supporting the freedom to marry for all Americans.

NativeOUT
NativeOUT is a grassroots Native American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Two-Spirit (LGBTTS) group in Phoenix, Arizona. NativeOUT is just one of the 20+ organized Native American LGBT and Two-Spirit groups across the US and Canada.

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation: LGBT Native American Community
Two-Spirit is a cultural and social Native term—not a religious one—that encompasses alternative sexuality, alternative gender and an integration of Native Spirituality.

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PUBLICATIONS:

Race and Ethnicity of Same-sex Couples in California
February 16, 2006
UCLA's Williams Project releases new report on diversity among California's gay and lesbian couples.

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NEWS:

View news about why marriage matters to Native Americans.

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MULTIMEDIA:

Marriage in Native America
Democracy Now!
May 31, 2005

Check out this video discussion about marriage equality featuring plaintiff Dawn McKinley, Joe Shirley (president of the Navajo nation), and David Cornsilk (a member of the Cherokee nation).
Listen to Segment || Download Show mp3
Watch 128k stream
Watch 256k stream
Read Transcript

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Loving equality

The Huffington Post
June 12, 2007

Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson and civil rights attorney Bernard S. Cohen, who argued the Loving's case, write together about Loving v. Virginia as a milestone in racial equality, an important vindication of marriage as a cherished civil right, and a testament to the importance of fighting for equality, rather than sitting by silently, indifferently, or complacently in the face of cruel exclusion..

NativeOUT

NativeOUT is a grassroots Native American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Two-Spirit (LGBTTS) group in Phoenix, Arizona. NativeOUT is just one of the 20+ organized Native American LGBT and Two-Spirit groups across the US and Canada.

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation: LGBT Native American Community
Marriage in Native America

Democracy Now!
May 31, 2005

Check out this video discussion about marriage equality featuring plaintiff Dawn McKinley, Joe Shirley (president of the Navajo nation), and David Cornsilk (a member of the Cherokee nation).
Listen to Segment || Download Show mp3
Watch 128k stream
Watch 256k stream
Read Transcript

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