Video: Not Ready for Change: Navajo Nation’s View on Same-Sex Marriage

Jorge Martin Melchor

New Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in December that same-sex marriage was constitutional, and the state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples across the state. The change has forced the Navajo Nation, which straddles the Arizona and New Mexico border, to reconsider its beliefs on gay rights. For now, the nation’s largest Native American reservation isn’t observing same-sex marriage, and most Navajo support that. But a few Navajo say the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage across the nation is cause for debate on the reservation.

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seanglenn47's picture
Submitted by seanglenn47 on
I have always known that First Nation tribes were very accepting of gays within their community, and I can understand the Navajo tribe's loyalty to traditional values in opposing gay marriage, on the grounds that they feel it should be between a man and a woman. However, I do not agree with it. As an extremely oppressed people, one would think that the tribe would understand the rights of other oppressed people, and have some sympathy within their own ranks for those gay members of their tribe who want to marry. (Full Disclosure: I am neither Native American nor gay). Glenn Krasner in the Bronx, NY.

builds-the-fire's picture
Submitted by builds-the-fire on
I agree with the two men in the video, but from a Christian perspective. Two men can't have a baby, and two women can't have a baby. I would defend any person's being--gay or not--because they were created by God, but marriage should remain between man and woman because it's of God for the procreation of children, and not for any other reason.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
WTF? I'm pretty certain most Indian Nations DID NOT discriminate aganist gays or transgender members and even heard of a heartfelt documentary on the subject: "It’s called Two Spirits, and it weaves the story of a 16-year-old Navajo boy, Fred Martinez, who was murdered because of his feminine ways, and the history of many Native American tribes who considered what we now call LGBT people to be gifted individuals who had an honored place in society. They called them “two spirits.” It seems to me that Christianity and Western European relgions are responsible for teaching NDNs to be more judgemental about other humans.

Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
People can say what they want, but the Creator said this is evil. At the time of the Great War in the heavens eons ago the wicked one called Satan was cast out along with 1/3 of the angels. They have roamed the entire Universe corrupting the perfect order of things as the Creator originally made things. No one is born this way. They are exposed to such things & have been corrupted. The demons & Satan himself have caused this all to come about. Even the animal world has been corrupted by these outcast demons. It was not this way in the beginning folks. This is what happens when Satan & his demons corrupt the entire Universe with their evil ways. These folks can whine all they want for acceptance, but rest assured that the majority of people in this world do NOT accept this lifestyle as normal & never will. The Creator tells us to not tolerate wicked ways or deceived people when they try to get others to accept their evil lifestyle. It isn't normal & never will be considered as such. A man & a woman were created as the perfect order in our Creator's eyes. Not 2 men or 2 women.

Osage's picture
Submitted by Osage on
I believe women can love women and men can love men. It is a basic feeling from birth. Children love their same sex parent, and siblings, relatives, members of their tribe, etc. I believe our Creator loves us all, even the sinners. But I do not believe our Creator created a man and man, nor woman and woman to procreate. The male and female were created for sex and procreation. I have gay friends. I do not care if they love one another, but I am not a believer of marriage between the two, unless they will refrain from a sexual relationship. I do not believe that statements - like that of seanglenn47 - are deserving of much. His views that we are "an extremely oppressed people" is simply another way with words to try and change people's ways of thinking to his own. I AM INDIAN and not gay but...I Live by our Creator's laws!

davidroyimages's picture
Submitted by davidroyimages on
@seanglen47: Oppressed? I hardly think homosexuals fall into the oppressed category. They enjoy every right that you and I have, possibly more. I suppose if you consider marriage a "right", they may come up short there. But, can you show me where marriage is defined as a "right"? The Constitution makes no mention of marriage, perhaps because the Founding Fathers just assumed that it was and always would be a sacramental union of a man and a woman and need not be taken into consideration. It was a given as they say today. Homosexuals can live together, be joined together in civil unions and enjoy all the rights as stated in the Constitution. Where is the oppression?

tmsyr11's picture
Submitted by tmsyr11 on
Other than working in the British Navy, homosexuality as it is rightfully called out for really should have no purpose unless you have shipmates, are under the lash, and have plenty of rum (see WChurchhill - not Ward but Winston). Of course NOW in today's generation, to 'legitimize' outright homosexual behavior, rather than highlight the 70's style gayday parades on city streets, YOUNG CHILDREN now are being used to redefine homosexuality which in my view is outright WRONG. Thousands of years of human bonds and cultural rituals CANNOT BE WRONG in relation to MARRIAGE. Navajo traditional values respect and agree there was a place for homosexuality, but that place was unique NOT at the forefront of Navajo culture! Cross-dressing Navajo men roam freely throughout the reservation and throughout the border towns - so NOTHING impedes their 'right' to degrade themselves. Sadly, for american/western values, we are seeing REGRESSION in terms of institutions that once serve society well. Thankly for though (there still remains a large percentage of Navajo people who at least acknowledge traditional values and beliefs). As the 'regressive' notion to individual freedoms or 'rights' as THEY call it, what is to stop a Navajo person from co-habitating or being intimate with their CLAN brother or CLAN sister. Remember regressives or Progressives call for individual freedoms, but should that include laying down with your clan relations? Where does the line end? Where does the line begin?

swrussel's picture
Submitted by swrussel on
There is a legal right to the economic benefits of CIVIL marriage. There is no right to the alleged spiritual benefits of sacramental marriage, whatever they may be. The best medical evidence is that sexual orientation is not this or that, but exists on a continuum and individuals do not spend their entire lives at the same place on the continuum. I can't see what difference that should make to public policy. Either you think the government gets to accompany you into the bedroom and police your conduct or you do not. Those of you who think Supernatural Beings have instructed you on these matters are free to follow those instructions. You are not free to use the power of the government to coerce those who missed the instructions or got differing instructions. You are only mullahs to those who choose to recognize you as mullahs.