Indian Country 52 #9 – Equality II
“The national debate over gay marriage, however, is prompting some Navajos to re-examine a 2005 tribal law called the Dine Marriage Act, which prohibits same-sex unions on the reservation. Among the tribal politicians who have said they are amenable to repealing the law is the Navajo Nation president, Ben Shelly, who has said he would go along with a repeal if the Navajo Nation Council voted in favor of it.
And at least one Navajo presidential aspirant — Joe Shirley Jr., a former president who is running again — favors legalizing same-sex marriage. “Our culture dictates acceptance,” Shirley, 67, said of gay Navajos in a slow, grandfatherly tone during an interview. “They are part of our family, they are our children, and we don’t need to be partial.””
– Alaska Dispatch, Among the Navajos, a Renewed Debate About Same-Sex Marriage.
“Going back further, there are drawings, photographs, oral histories, and even language that advocates say is evidence LGBT Navajo tribe members were once accepted.
The Navajo language has at least one term for tribe members that don’t fit traditional heterosexual roles: nádleehí.
“Historically our society was more accepting of a person who was nádleehí,” said Dr. Jennifer Denetdale, a University of New Mexico associate professor and a member of the Navajo Humans Rights Commission.”
– Fusion, The surprising history of gay marriage in the Navajo nation.
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #9 – Equality II.
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of graphic design by creating posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country.
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