Cherokee Nation attorney general says tribe must OK gay marriage
The Associated Press - December 13, 2016 12:47 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Cherokee Nation’s attorney general says tribal statutes that prohibit gay marriage are unconstitutional and that the Oklahoma-based tribe can’t refuse to issue a marriage license or recognize a marriage based on the couple’s gender.
Attorney General Todd Hembree’s opinion says parts of a 2004 tribal law that defined marriage as “a civil contract between one man and one woman” are unconstitutional under the Cherokee Constitution, which requires equal treatment of tribal citizens.
Assistant Attorney General Chrissi Nimmo said Monday that the opinion carries the force of law.
Hembree’s opinion was handed down Friday to the director of the tribe’s tax commission, who had asked whether the tribe could issue a vehicle tag to a same-sex couple married outside the tribe’s jurisdiction.