Cherokee Court Rejects Petition to Block Same-Sex Marriage

Cherokee Court Rejects Petition to Block Same-Sex Marriage

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma, August 3, 2005) Today, the Judicial Appeals Tribunal of the Cherokee Nation, the highest Cherokee court, rejected a petition to block same-sex marriage. The court found that Todd Hembree, a private citizen, lacked standing to bring suit challenging the validity of Ms. Kathy Reynolds and Ms. Dawn McKinley’s marriage. In doing so, the Court granted Ms. Reynolds and Ms. McKinley’s motion to dismiss the case.

In May 2004, Ms. Reynolds and Ms. McKinley, citizens of the Cherokee Nation, applied for and were issued a marriage certificate. The couple wed shortly thereafter. On June 16, 2004, a member of the Cherokee tribe, Todd Hembree, filed a Petition seeking to have the couple’s marriage held invalid. The Cherokee Court found that Mr. Hembree lacked standing to bring suit challenging the validity of the marriage because he has failed to show that he will suffer individualized harm.