US: Gay couple defy Oklahoma same-sex marriage ban by marrying with Native American tribe

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A gay couple in the US state of Oklahoma have defied their state’s ban on equal marriage, and lack of recogition of out-of-state same-sex marriages by marrying with a Native American tribe.

The couple Jason Pickel, and Darren Black Bear, first approached the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Tribale Court in 2009, but the (now defunct) Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), made their marriage impossible.

On 10 October, the pair married however, following the Supreme Court strike-down of DOMA. They were able to do so because the Native American judiciary in Concho, is not subject to state law.

The Huffington Post on Tuesday repored the wedding, and that a spokesperson from the tribe, Lisa Liebl, said the law code of the tribe “does not specify gender”.

The pair had said they were surprise to be accepted, after being turned down in 2009. They will now be able to register for federal tax breaks, despite being exempt from the state equivalent.