Eight LGBT Native Americans You Should Know
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
November 23 2012 4:00 AM ET
Heather Purser, a 29-year-old seafood diver for Washington's Suquamish Tribe, spent four years pushing for her tribe to adopt a law recognizing same-sex marriages. Out since she was a teen, Pursser decided after college to approach her tribal council and ask for the change. Members said they'd consider it. Years later, she returned and asked again — this time reportedly demanding a voice vote, according to the Associated Press.
"Everyone said aye. No one said nay," Purser told the AP. Her family was in the audience, beaming proudly.
On August 1, 2011, the Suquamish Tribe extended marriage rights to same-sex couples on its reservation (more than a year before the state voted on marriage equality). It was only the second tribe in the U.S. to do so (Oregon's Coquille Tribe first recognized same-sex marriages in 2005), and everyone admitted it wouldn't have happened without Purser standing up for her beliefs.
Photo courtesy of Cameron Karsten.
- WATCH: Elton John Slams 'Inhumane, Isolating' Anti-LGBT Laws In Russia
- Op-ed: Why I Filmed My Coming Out Journey
- Hot Sheet: Hark the Herald Angel Swings
- Nebraska Republican Vying for Mantle as Most Antigay in Primary
- Holiday Guide: Shop Here, Not There
- Lady Gaga Congratulates Tom Daley, Urges Boycott of Sochi Olympics
- Politics WATCH: Elton John Slams Russia's Anti-LGBT Laws Onstage 23 min 41 sec ago
- Women American Horror Story: Coven -- Ritual Witch-ual 32 min 58 sec ago
- Travel Wanna Win a Wedding in West Hollywood? 1 hour 37 min ago
- Election Nebraska Republican Vying for Mantle as Most Antigay in Primary 2 hours 10 min ago
- Women WATCH: Santana Lopez as the Best Bad Santa Ever! 2 hours 30 min ago
- Religion WATCH: Robertson Prays for Gays 'Recruited' By Abuse 4:41 PM
- Women WATCH: Idina Menzel's Female Empowerment Anthem from Frozen 4:07 PM