Gay Couple In Oklahoma Marry Despite State Ban

Ponca City Now - November 1, 2013 6:32 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – In a conservative state referred to as the buckle of the Bible Belt, two men were legally married in a small ceremony at a chapel on an old military fort west of Oklahoma City.

Despite a ban on gay marriage in the Oklahoma Constitution, Darren Black Bear and Jason Pickel wed Thursday at Fort Reno after being granted a marriage license from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. The 45-year-old Black Bear is a member of the Oklahoma-based tribe, one of the few Native American tribes in the U.S. to allow same-sex marriage.

He and the 36-year-old Pickel are the third same-sex couple to be issued marriage licenses from the tribe since 2012.

Black Bear says he never imagined being able to marry his partner, and described the experience as "surreal."


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