It won't matter for federal income taxes, or even to the state, but to Kitzen and Jeni Branting, that doesn't matter. What matters is that the members of their tribe recognize them as a married couple.
PORTLAND, Ore. - At the request of a lesbian couple, the Coquille Indian Tribe on the southern Oregon coast, in the U.S. West, has adopted a law recognizing same-sex marriage.But even though it may not mean a lot legally, it does mean something culturally. The more groups that recognize the rights of same-sex couples to marry, the more the culture at large will accept it. Sure, some people will never be willing to go along--hell, what would Bill Donohue do if he had to get a real job?--but just as homophobia is less widespread today than it was during the Stonewall Riots, the people who now object to same-sex marriage will become rarer and rarer until they have the same social standing that Klansmen have today.
Tribal law specialists say the Coquille appear to be the first American Indian tribe to sanction such marriages. Most tribal law doesn't address the issue. The Navajo and Cherokee tribes prohibit same-sex marriages.
And that day can't come soon enough. Congratulations, Kitzen and Jeni.