- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 5, 2006

The top court of the Cherokee Nation has declined to strike down a homosexual “marriage” in a pioneering case in American Indian country, the couple and officials say.

Kathy Reynolds, 29, and Dawn McKinley, 34, “married” in May 2004 in Oklahoma, just weeks after San Francisco ignored state law by giving marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Because tribal law at the time did not bar same-sex “marriages,” a tribal clerk gave them a wedding certificate.

But tribal council members sued, saying the “marriage” would damage the reputation of the Cherokees. The council has since unanimously defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

In a Dec. 22 decision announced Wednesday, the Judicial Appeals Tribunal of the Cherokee Nation, the tribe’s highest court in Tahlequah, Okla., rejected the request for an injunction against the “marriage,” saying the council members had no right to bring the case.

Miss Reynolds said that since “the tribe has become so Westernized and adopted Christian religions and European ways, they strayed away from traditional Cherokee values of indifference.”

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