Michigan Native-American Tribe Nears Marriage Equality If Leader Doesn't Veto

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com March 06 2013 3:21 PM ET

A Michigan tribal council approved marriage equality this weekend and now its leader is deciding whether to approve it.

Little Traverse Bay Bands Chairman Dexter McNamara told the Petosky News that "I'm going to have to think about it." If McNamara wields his veto, it would take a seven-vote majority on the council to override. And the initial vote, 5-4, makes that seem unlikely.

The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians would become only the third Native American tribe to formally approve of marriage equality. In Washington, the Suquamish Tribe extended marriage rights in 2011, more than a year before the state.  And the Coquille Indian Tribe, located on the southern Oregon coast, was the first to make the change back in 2008. Now the rest of the state could face a ballot measure on the question.

In Michigan, voters approved a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman, but the tribe makes its own laws.

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