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Navajo president explains view on gay marriage ban

In an interview with The Farmington Daily Times, Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. said his decision to veto a bill banning same-sex marriage on the reservation was "almost all" based on his personal views.

Shirley told the paper the issue of same-sex marriage is about "people's rights." "We are talking about being discriminatory," he said. "We�re talking about discrimination. That�s a people issue."

Sherrick Roanhorse, a gay Navajo Republican who belongs to the gay Log Cabin Republican group, agreed with Shirley. "I am a young Navajo and I do not need the government to bestow their views on me," the former Congressional intern told Indian Country Today. "It is not the role of the council to promote personal beliefs of elected representatives of the Navajo people. If the council wants to promote harmony, they should not take actions to divide us and promote discrimination.''

Shirley said he wasn't too worried that the Navajo Nation Council might override his veto of the Din Marriage Act of 2005. "I cant predict what the council钒s going to do," he said in The Daily Times interview. "If they do it, they will have to answer to their constituents at election time.

Shirley said the issue of gay marriage should be left up to the Navajo people through a referendum. He also discussed other issues, such as gaming, with the paper in the interview.

Get the Story:
Q & A with President Shirley (The Farmington Daily Times 5/4)
Navajo president vetoes gay marriage ban (Indian Country Today 5/4)

Relevant Links:
Navajo Nation -

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