The Rainbow MinuteThe Rainbow Minute
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
"Same-Sex Marriage for an Indian Tribe" – Andrew Cothern
The Suquamish Tribal Council voted in August of 2011 to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples on its reservation near Seattle, Washington. This change came about after a four-year campaign by lesbian tribal member, Heather Purser.
A seafood diver for the tribe, Purser said, “Everyone said 'aye.' No one said 'nay.'”
Leonard Forsman, the Suquamish Tribal chairman said, “We are open and tolerant, and we want to make sure our members are offered the opportunity to be happy and free in their lives. This lined up with our values as a tribe. We don’t discriminate.”
This made the Suquamish tribe the second in the U.S. to offer same-sex marriage. The first was Coquille Tribe in Coos Bay, Oregon, which married a gay couple in 2009.
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