Alray Nelson: Bring marriage equality to the Navajo Nation

Supporters of marriage equality on the Navajo Nation. Photo from Coalition for Navajo Equality

Alray Nelson, the founder of the Coalition for Navajo Equality, calls for the repeal of the Dine Marriage Act of 2005:
Since the Diné Marriage Act, the rights and benefits only marriage provides are null and void for my partner and me within the Navajo Nation.

We cannot jointly file for a home-site lease to build a house for our family in Arizona because of this law. We cannot jointly adopt a Navajo child or have protective rights as guardians because of this law.

We are not safe in the workplace or in public because the Navajo Nation has no anti-discrimination or hate crimes prevention laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals from violence. My partner and I have no right to claim each other on our health insurance policy or neither can we apply as a “legal” family for help because we have no marriage license that is usually needed as proof for government-assistance programs or for Medicare when we are both elderly men.

Gay and lesbian couples share the same economic, health care and child-raising experiences as our parents. These everyday life decisions between two human beings in a loving, committed relationship have been taken for granted because of the Diné Marriage Act and we must repeal it now.

Get the Story:
Alray Nelson: Marriage equality for Navajos (The Albuquerque Journal 4/21)

Related Stories:
Navajo Nation group seeks marriage equality on reservation (1/3)

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