Native American Tribe in Michigan Votes to Approve Gay Marriage

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Gay marriage could soon be legal in Michigan, but only for members of one of the local Native American tribes.

The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian nation recently voted a close 5 to 4 to approve gay marriage within the tribe, the Gay Star News reports.

While Michigan bans same-sex marriage, the Indian nation is free to enact its own laws within its territory.

The law still needs to get the okay from the tribal chairman. If the chairman decides to veto the law, the tribal council can override his decision if they approve it by a larger margin of 7 to 2.

If everything goes well, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa tribe would become the third Native American nation to legalize gay marriage.

The Coquille tribe legalized same-sex unions in 2009, while the Suquamish Tribe approved such unions in 2011—one year before state residents voted at the ballot to legalize it in 2012.

While the Little Traverse Bay Bands tribe is moving forward with the legislation, two other branches of the Odawa are yet to pass gay marriage.