A groundbreaking decision Friday in Cherokee Nation. The tribe’s attorney general, Todd Hembree, says the tribe will now recognize same-sex marriage. Friday’s decision nullifies the Cherokee Nation and Family Protection Act, passed in 2004.
The question Hembree received was actually from the Cherokee Tax Commission in regards to a recently married woman trying to obtain a Cherokee Nation ID card. She was recently married to another woman. There was a question as to whether the Commission could recognize a same-sex marriage. Hembree said ‘Yes’.
“It’s not only exciting,” says Casdyn Clark, who says he is descended from Cherokee heritage. “Exciting is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The iceberg has stood in the way of same-sex couples in Cherokee Nation for decades.
“The fact that they would voluntarily do this is a really great thing,” says Ryan Payne, who is both a U.S. citizen and Cherokee Nation citizen. “It speaks to the progression of the tribe and the nation as a whole.”
Payne couldn’t agree to talk to us fast enough when he learned about the Cherokee decision.