First Same-Sex Marriage in Michigan Performed by Indian Tribe Official
Tim LaCroix and Gene Barfield officially tied the knot just after 10 am today, becoming Michigan’s first gay couple to be legally married in our state.
Dexter McNamara signed a bill which allows same-sex marriages under tribal law this morning, then performed the nuptials. McNamara is chairman of the Little Travers Band of Odawa Indians in Petoskey.
At least two other US Indian tribes recognize gay marriage, but the Little Traverse Band in Northern Michigan is the first in the state. The tribe’s legislative body approved the amendment to tribal law earlier this month in a 5-4 vote.
Michigan banned same-sex unions in 2004, but Indian tribes are governed independently. A Detroit area couple is trying to have the ban overturned, citing a need for joint adoption of their three children. A federal judge has delayed acting on the couple’s plea.