KGUN 9News


Gay marriage is legal but not on tribal lands

Posted at 12:18 PM, Nov 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-27 14:18:45-05

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Cleo Pablo married her longtime partner when gay weddings became legal in Arizona and looked forward to the day when her wife and their children could move into her home in the small Native American community outside Phoenix where she grew up.
The Ak-Chin Indian Community doesn't recognize same-sex marriages and has a law that prohibits unmarried couples from living together. So Pablo is suing the tribe in tribal court to have her marriage validated.
Pablo's situation reflects an overlooked story line following the U.S. Supreme Court's historic decision this year that legalized gay marriages: American Indian reservations are not bound by the decision and many continue to forbid gay marriages and deny insurance and other benefits.
Pablo's tribe said marriage laws are a matter for the tribe to decide.