The Osage Nation in Northern Oklahoma held a controversial vote on Monday, March 20 to determine whether or not the tribe would begin recognizing same sex marriages.
The Obergefell v Hodges case legalized same-sex marriage in the United States but as sovereign entities, federally recognized Indian Nations are not bound by that decision. It has, however, become a hot button issue between the tribes as many of them are taking up the case to decide if they will follow in the same footsteps and make same sex marriage a part of their own law.
With over 20,000 citizens, the Osage Nation is one of the largest tribes in Oklahoma. Other Indian Nations have also started recognizing same-sex marriage including the Cherokee Nation and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.
Activists hope that the decision will encourage acceptance and allow members of the community who are afraid to come out to have more confidence.