Turtle Mountain votes to become first tribal nation in ND to recognize same-sex marriage
August 7, 2020
BELCOURT, N.D. — The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa on Thursday, Aug. 6, became the first tribal nation within North Dakota's borders to recognize same-sex marriage.
The Tribal Council voted 6-2 to amend the nation's domestic relations policy to include civil unions in its definition of marriage. Deliberation about the decision took almost two hours, as multiple people emotionally voiced their opinions for and against the amendment.
Prior to the vote, almost 200 Turtle Mountain members and LGBTQ allies marched on the reservation in favor of legalizing marriage for the nation's two-spirited members. "Two-spirit” is an umbrella term used in some Indigenous communities for gender queer, gender fluid and gender nonconforming tribal members.