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Oregon’s Siletz Native American tribe considering legalizing same-sex marriage

The Siletz tribe of Oregon’s council has voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage on its lands ahead of a federal court judge striking down that state’s ban on gay couples marrying
The Siletz tribe's Chinook Winds casinon in Lincoln City, Oregon
Photo by Bercherka

The governing council of Oregon’s Siletz Native American tribe passed a motion in favor of allowing same-sex couples to legally marry on its reservation on Friday but will consult with members of the tribe before putting the measure into effect.

The vote by the Siletz tribal council came just days before a federal court struck down Oregon’s ban on same-sex couples marrying in the state yesterday.

Federally recognized Native American tribes have the same power to pass laws covering their traditional lands as US states so it is up to the Siletz whether same-sex couples may marry on their lands or not.

According to reports the vote by the tribal council was almost unanimous, with only one council member voting against the proposal.

Under the proposal at least one member of a couple must be a member of the tribe in order to qualify to be married.

If a majority of the tribe’s members approve the measure it will join the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Coquille Tribe, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the Santa Ysabel Tribe, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and the Suquamish tribe to become the ninth Native American tribe to legalize same-sex marriage on their lands.

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