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Same-sex marriage bill advances in Navajo Nation Council

Ben FrantzDale
Window Rock, the capital of the Navajo Nation

Legislation to recognize same-sex marriage on the Navajo Nation has advanced in the tribal council.

The Health, Education, and Human Services Standing Committee approved the bill last week.

Supporters say it would afford same-sex couples the same spousal rights of male-female unions.

According to committee Chair Vince James, couples who decide to share their lives should be able to make beneficiary and other important decisions together.

The Navajo Nation Council in 2005 passed a resolution to ban same-sex marriage, and the current measure would reverse much of that measure.

However, traditional wedding ceremonies on the Navajo Nation involving a man and woman would remain unchanged.

The tribe currently has no traditional wedding ceremony for same-sex couples.