Navajo Nation advisory council works to make domestic violence a criminal act

Navajo Nation advisory council works to make domestic violence a criminal act

Webmaster’s note:
The language in this domestic violence legislation may include the recognition of domestic violence in same-sex relationships and their families. According to the article, the recognition of same-sex relationships in this legislation may be grounds to repeal the Dine Marriage Act of 2005 (DMA). The DMA was enacted by the Navajo Nation Council on April 22, 2005 and was later vetoed by President Shirley on May 1, 2005. The Council voted to override the President’s veto on June 3, 2005. This legislation made same-sex marriage illegal on the Navajo reservation. To learn more about the Dine Marriage Act click here.

This article also contains a statement from Navajo Nation Council Delegate Lorenzo Curley, a graduate of BYU and law school. He suggests they include a provision, in the domestic violence law, that outlaws same-sex cohabitation on the Navajo reservation.


Criminal Offense?

Advisory council works to make domestic violence a criminal act

WINDOW ROCK — For the last 10 years, the Navajo Nation Advisory Council has been working to revise the Nation’s criminal code to make acts of family violence a criminal offense. As it now stands, domestic violence is a violation of civil code.

But during a presentation last week before a joint meeting of the Public Safety and Judiciary committees, it became apparent the first matter to be settled is what is meant by “family member” and “co-parent.”

Also, if domestic violence occurs among same-sex relationships, spelling it out in the law becomes a problem because the Marriage Act of 2005 makes same-sex relationships on Navajoland illegal. Calling attention to domestic violence in those relationships through legislation passed after the Marriage Act could be inferred as a repeal of the law, according to Frank Seanez, Office of Legislative Counsel.

The advisory council hopes to present the Violence Against Family Act to the Navajo Nation Council during the fall session. Read more…

Periodicals Research Info (if link expires):
Source: Gallup Independent, August 8, 2005
Article title: Criminal Offense? Advisory council works to make domestic violence a criminal act
By: Kathy Helms