Navajos debate traditions and clanship beliefs for the modern era
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Increasing the debate on modern-day implications for Navajo traditions, the Navajo Nation Council’s June 3 override of the Navajo president’s veto on a same-sex marriage ban means the law will go into effect on the Navajo Nation.
The override passed the council with a vote of 62 – 14, with 12 delegates abstaining. A vote of at least 59 was needed for the override to pass. The initial council vote, passing the legislation with a vote of 67 to 0, was held April 22. The Navajo president vetoed the legislation on May 1, which led to the override.
The Dine’ Coalition for Cultural Preservation, organized by Navajo gays, said the council’s vote on the override, and passage of the Dine’ Marriage Act of 2005, is more about politics and power than concern with Navajo people and Navajo families.
“Once again, with this override, we see the continued power struggle that is hurting our governmental system. The outrage of this result will only add to the growing cries for aggressive governmental reform in the next coming years,” the coalition said in a statement released by Sherrick Roanhorse, Navajo.
Roanhorse said an appeal to the Navajo Supreme Court is an option for the future. The Dine’ Marriage Act defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, prohibits plural marriage and prohibits marriage between family members.
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