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Native American tribe votes to recognize same-sex marriage

Native American tribe votes to recognize same-sex marriage

Osage Nation has voted to recognize same-sex marriage

A Midwestern Native American tribal nation has voted to recognize same-sex marriage.

The Osage Nation has around 15,000 members, with the majority being based in Oklahoma.

Osage Nation Congresswoman Alice Buffalohead sponsored the proposal, saying there was enough discrimination in the world and that all Osage should be treated equally.

‘We’re thankful for all the Osages who voted in this election. The time for discrimination is over,’ she said after the result was declared.

Fifty-three per cent of voters supported a recognition of the definition of marriage to between ‘two persons’ rather than ‘a man and a woman’. However, there was surprise at low voted turn-out.

Monday was voting day (preceded by a two-day early voting period). Approximately 1,100 sent in absentee ballots but only 347 turned up at voting booths.

It is the first time Osage Nation has held a referendum on whether a tribal law should be amended.

‘This was overdue,’ said Osage tribal member Jennifer Tiger to Osage News, Tiger drove from California to vote in person.

‘The United States Supreme Court recognized gay marriage two years ago. This was long overdue.’

Osage Nation follows in the footsteps of Cherokee Nation and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe, also based in Oklahoma, in recognizing same-sex marriage.